I have been inspired by Provincetown's landscape for almost twenty years.    In that time I have recorded the changing waterfront and more recently have shifted my gaze away from the harbor to record more organic and internal landscapes.   In the early works of industrial waterfront imagery - boat cradles, winches, masts, pulleys and hooks - the subject matter seemed dangerous and strangely exciting.  I felt a need to approach this ever popular subject matter of the pier and boatyards in spite of their cliché.  Painted on site, in the plein air tradition, these works served as a documentary of a fading fishing industry.  Many of the boats, the Joan and Tom, the Liberty and the Little Natalia are now gone.  As the fleet faded to just the few boats we see today, my personal need to record this subject matter has changed as well.  Over  the

past five years my works have focused in on more organic subjects - flowers, figures, landscape – yet they all retain an underlying structure I had observed in the architecture of the boats and shipyards.  These newer paintings often straddle conventional notions of representation and abstraction. I have become interested in the  inherent ambiguity and complexity of living things versus the man made objects of my past works.  They are more emotional works and they skew our understanding of the the real and the abstract. 

Pedagogically, I am deeply influenced by two schools of art that have shaped Provincetown's legacy in the art world - Hawthorne and Hoffman.  A palpable experience of the light as well as a concern for plasticity of space are dominant themes in all my work.  From my earlier industrial waterfront paintings to the the more recent gardens, the imagery delivers an intensified experience of color and the impact of complex space.  Inside space spills into outside and vice versa.  Flowers and gardens defy their boundaries.  I work on both canvas and panels and the paintings are heavily impastoed with wax and oil.  My marks are made with knife and brush.  I am greatly interested in the process of painting and in what paint can do.

liz carney


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