Vanessa Michalak
Ideas about escapism, adventure and humans’ relationship with nature are explored in paintings created by the synthesis of memories, imagination and found photos. Although some paintings place sole emphasis on the landscape itself, indications of human activity are often present. Figures move through forests and viewers are forced to make their way through overgrown paths. Particular structures within the landscape allude to impermanence or more specific interactions with the environment. As a Maine native, traveler and avid hiker, the spirit of searching and exploring parallels my painting process. Reinventing, pursuing solutions and discovering the scope of paint's material capacity becomes as important as my subject matter. Allowing myself to get a “little lost in the woods” as I teeter on the edge of abstraction and representation or “adventure on new paths” whilst conceding to unfamiliar methods, makes the process of creating each painting a unique quest. Ultimately the paintings become not only a reflection of my inner restlessness and my longing to reconnect with nature but also a record of my incessant investigation of the painting proces