PO Box 254, Chamisal, NM 87521 • 575 587-2721, donnacaulton.com
For twenty-five years, more or less, the artist’s statements I have written have held similar content. There have been words about balance, as in dark vs. light, as in amorphousness vs. structure. There have been words about natural cycles; death followed by rebirth, the phases of the moon, the ever-changing seasons of our planet earth.
While my interests remain the same, my focus is now more distilled. I am simply in love with the natural world. When I think of making a painting, nature is where I find inspiration. That world, however, is vast but potentially finite. I am aware, always, of the continuous and ever-increasing pressures we have placed upon our planet’s delicate, life-sustaining resonance. We have tinkered in truly unallowable ways with the natural order of things.
The earth is so precious. I want every work that comes from my hands and heart to act as a remembrance of her rhythm, her pulse, the sustenance of our very lives, even if that work is a simple repetition of trees in a rhythmical representation of the moon’s phases. In remembering to honor the natural order, it is my hope to reinforce the strength and continuity of that order. If each piece I produce encourages others to remember, to wonder, in some small way we are each then giving back to the earth force.
Sometimes I paint with an idea in mind. I know where I want the image to go, what I want it to say. Sometimes I even succeed in having it say just what I intended. The very best process of painting, or any type of image making, occurs when I just start to paint. I lay down washes, watery layers, color upon color, and wait. Very soon the painting will show me what it wants to be. If I am patient and cooperate, I can help it become. That’s the very best, and I can be happy a long time knowing that will happen really well from time to time.
Because of this I rarely produce a series of similar works. I get restless and bored trying to belabor a point or say the same thing in forty different ways. There are, however, recognizable characteristic that show up from piece to piece. I use repeated patterning, lots of circles and squares, frequent horizontal bands and nearly always a central focus that can be interpreted with iconic reference of cultural, mythic or natural symbology. My goal is that each piece be new and a thing of its own. Often it works!
My recent move from the yin world of the Northwest to the yang world of the Southwest has given me permission to use vibrant color, to sometimes paint a landscape, to tell stories of animals, and more. Each day a new story unfolds. My part in the story is to give it a visual translation.