“Strawberry Hill” is a series of layered abstract landscape paintings beginning with a red underpainting superimposed with drawings executed while walking on land that was once covered with wild strawberries and was my home for much of my life. This project is inspired by John Lennon’s “Strawberry Fields Forever”, a song about place and memory. This work is not to pay homage to Lennon but to work from the idea of place, a strawberry hill rich with memory.
Not only is the red underpainting a metaphor for a field of strawberries, it provides a strategy to move away from the subtle ochres and umbers of the prairie palette and instead respond to a vibrant, saturated, red hue. The drawings that are the inspiration for the paintings are layered with marks and overlapped with images as I walk, becoming abstract very quickly, loosening an adherence to faithful representation. The marks and the red ground stimulate my imagination and memory towards paintings that are sensorially rich.