Michelle Jones, Sea of Poppies - Original Painting
Sea of Poppies
9 x 12 inches
Gouache, watercolor, and acrylic on paper
My work reflects a nature that is voluptuous and beautiful, but also confrontational and sinister. Predators are camouflaged or at rest, their lonely idyll an invitation aslant. The worlds I create within my paintings highlight the peril of the wilds, the claustrophobia of unattended growth, but they also urge one to tumble in, to throw off caution and niceties, and give in to the excesses of life without constraints. A tiger bathes in a pool or emerges from a dense canopy with the offer of a languid freedom only found in the solitude of the terra incognita.
Life on the Gulf Coast is fraught with consequence. We have hurricanes, tornadoes, mold multiplying underneath floorboards and vines pushing through walls, foundations sink and sidewalks buckle. The land here is aggressively active in trying to keep humans at bay. What we have created is not natural or sustainable. If we stopped hacking back the overgrowth and shoring up our homes, this place would fall back into the gulf--which feels like on a small scale what is happening on the planet as a whole.
My work reflects this. The landscape is a protagonist, its obscene lushness often choking out the creatures that inhabit it or a surprise force sweeping through that must be reckoned with. There is beauty to be found in the madness but that distraction could lead to one being swallowed up.
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