What Arrives? What Departs?
Travel is such a rich metaphor for life — especially in America with her super highways and rail systems and wide-open spaces inviting our independent exploration. I am inspired by visual conceptualization of travel related themes, especially those of respite and reflective contemplation. Originally, my title ‘What Arrives? What Departs?’ derived from a meditation on impermanence — a condition easily associated with travel. Beyond the very personal story that this image speaks to me of, we glimpse the freedom of a an American woman traveling alone sixty years ago. In the past year of exhibiting this painting, I’ve enjoyed hearing all of the widely varying interpretations of what my painting is about. To me, it is about the freedom that American women have enjoyed for decades — especially the freedom to travel alone.
My job as an artist is, in part, to see and to express what others cannot — done in part by building metaphors that allow for better exploration of one’s own experience. Experience of the past can point a way forward, and as a mature artist, I recall that past is prologue and that time is curved — not linear, as, like railroad tracks, as it often appears. Using the past to inform the present and the future is a theme explored within my series of paintings of American women and railroads.