The backseat

Work in Progress

As a kid, I spent a lot of time sitting in the backseat of the car. Weekends in the summer meant long drives to the lake cabin or my Grandma’s farm in Northern Minnesota. I occupied my time tracing the contours of the world outside my window pane: lines of pine trees, passing telephone poles, and the horizon between the sky and the fields. Inevitably, tracing would send my mind soaring- beyond the plains of Minnesota to somewhere else… I learned at a young age that looking at the world conjured up possibilities of new landscapes and new places in one’s own head.

What I didn’t realize as a kid was how powerful the experience between seeing and imagination truly is. Hours upon hours logged in the studio painting taught me that physical action and imagination are intimately tied together. When I paint, my mind and body work in concert. The collaboration between hand and brain mimics my own desires to weave together disparate elements of my life including memories, specific places, and formal choices (color, mark, shape, line etc) while I paint. In time, the fluid connection between mind and body began not only driving how I paint, but why I paint.

More and more, I want to utilize the experience of seeing and being with my work to raise a bodily response in the viewer. My hope is that this kinesthetic nudge starts a chain of memory. Like a ripple in the water….or the horizon of passing trees that sent me traveling so many years ago. – Betsy

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