My hometown, the barrier island of Grand Isle Louisiana, is the fastest disappearing place on earth. Between coastal erosion, hurricanes, sea levels rising, and the greatest oil disaster in history, my storm ravaged home has a unique relationship with nature. The landscape of our coast is constantly in flux. In my paintings I hope to express this fluctuating environment while capturing a landscape that will soon disappear.
In 1893, a hurricane wiped out the entire town of Cheniere Caminada. My Cajun ancestors were some of the few that survived. I gain inspiration from old stories, folklore, and observations that have been passed down my family. For example, because there were no meteorologists, the people would rely on a series of observations to predict a storm. It is said that the sky turned bright yellow before the historical hurricane. I use this nervous yellow in the sky of many of my paintings to translate the nervous energy before a storm.
Painting in a heightened color creates a landscape of heightened emotion. Working primarily in oil paint, I prepare the surface with bright vibrant colors such as pink or yellow that will peak through and make the environment vibrate with energy. I enjoy the push and pull of spaces within a landscape using these vibrant pops of color. Utilizing historical images and my own experiences in the environment, my compositions tell of a dynamic alternating ecosystem we live in.
Using these ideas of transitory nature and folklore while painting a disappearing landscape, I work to bring to light the issues of our coast. I hope these paintings bring further awareness to the fragility of our environment and that we face the future with a newfound respect for nature.