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Fourth Plain Village

Several years ago a string of circumstances forced me to move to a neighborhood plagued by gang violence and poverty in my mother’s hometown of Vancouver, Washington. Consequently, this series of paintings came out of an interest in my family’s local history and a desire to reconcile conflicting feelings about my new home.

During many walks and photo sessions, I realized that most of the houses in my neighborhood shared the same floor plan, as they were all constructed during the post-World War II housing boom. Despite their uniformity, I noted that over time these homes developed individual characteristics which reflected the nature of their human inhabitants. Though I rarely met any of my neighbors on these walks, their homes provided insight into their lives, if only through the limitation of my own imagination. Through the attentive act of painting, I sought to acknowledge the ways in which homeowners express themselves through their homes, a form of self-expression that is both active and passive, and ubiquitous in our culture.

Admittedly, my concerns with the human process of individuation and the spirit of home influenced my perception and rendering of these places. My desire to represent the homes with integrity is complicated by a romantic yearning to exalt the nature and function of these humble dwellings. Yet, despite my altruistic intent, an unsettled mood emanates from these paintings and lets slip that the project never fully transformed my experience of the place.