Kimberly MacArthur Graham

Seductive, Still

Each painting in this series references a place that I’ve wandered and that I’ve loved. Each location possessed so much power, so much allure, that it engendered in me what novelist Paul Watkins calls, “a kind of interior stillness that, if you are patient, comes upon you suddenly, like the breaking of a wave, as if you are suddenly absorbed into everything around you. That is the real gift of a place like this.” (The Fellowship of Ghosts, pp. 90-91)

I go on foot everywhere I can, looking around, and later, remembering. This way, the world goes by at a slower pace better suited to my eye and temperament.

After a particularly noteworthy expedition, I abstract a recollected scene by exaggerating or suppressing visual qualities to reflect my feelings about it.

I used to get frustrated that photos taken from the top of a mountain would seem so paltry when my memory of the view was so expansive. But experience and memory are shaped by influences outside the picture plane: feelings, thoughts, sounds, weather, or companions – that are alluded to by the voids and subtle visual discontinuities of these multi-panel pieces. The paintings' patterns suggest the churning forces that shape earth and water and sky.

It’s easy to become complacent, and, for me, roaming is the best remedy. I hope viewers find as much pleasure in the looking as I did in the trekking.