Artist statement

My paintings involve a process of improvisation. Starting with a wash of color on heavy paper, I apply ink and polymer paints with brushes and sticks, stencils and stamping. I collage various types of plain and printed paper, and transfer images from maps, my own drawings, pictures of landscapes and figures, text, music, and diagrams from old books. As relationships among elements and between them and their surroundings develop, a narrative evolves which is not held to any literal basis, though landscape or undersea views are sometimes suggested. Sometimes I use oil paints on the surface to intensify color and give depth. Finished paintings are coated with a varnish containing ultraviolet protection.

I want to create a sense of space retreating into an undefined distance, a feeling of transparency, and yet of something not fully revealed. In spite of these observable distances, the paintings are intimate in nature. Their scale is partly determined by the size of the elements I have chosen, but also by my particular approach to art and life. Inquiry seems to be the most useful and pleasurable method of coming to close quarters with life. Inquiry allows one to say, “Let’s see how things are,” which offers intimacy and movement, rather than, “This is how it is,” which stops everything. My paintings ask the viewer to come in closer to find out what may be seen and enjoyed. I hope to communicate the sense of mystery I feel at the heart of existence

These houses are made of everyday castoffs, corrugated cardboard, old lace, twine, sticks, beach debris, and found objects of all sorts. They may evoke shelters, altars, safe havens, prisons, storerooms--layers of meaning may be found in an intentional enclosure.

Miriam Davis, 2012