"Using Middle America as her muse, Kowch draws the history of a particular place -- invariably rural -- to the surface as it collides with a new reality in layers of metaphor and moodiness. The faces of her women may remind you of characters in a Tim Burton film."
--Steve Parks, Newsday

Sunday, August 31, 2008

"No Turning Back"

24" x 48"
acrylic on canvas

My latest. More personally influenced than some of my previous ones, part of the idea stems from the realization that experiences present themselves because they are there to teach us about ourselves. We've all had our share of experience, good and bad, and, odd as it may seem, it's the harder ones that eventually leave us with a feeling of gratefulness for them in the end, because of what they showed us, what they taught us, and the positive ways in which they ended up shaping us.

This painting is about new beginnings, when we come to terms with things past, and move on once and for all. While it may seem strange, maybe even negative at first glance, it is, in fact, positive. Farmers burn their fields each year to cleanse the earth of any lingering diseased crops and prepare the land for re-seeding. So, like the way in which fire paves way for nature's re-growth, the flames symbolize purification and renewal. Will the house catch fire? That's where a lot of the suspense lies in this piece. The figure is not in the house. The swallows who nested in the upstairs room are leaving, too. All the living things are free. The house is old, decaying, a thing of the past. So maybe it will burn to the ground. She doesn't care. She broke the strings that tied her down, making her free to move on. As perilous as it looks, she's never felt safer. She's moving on, and not turning back.