In nature, the press of energy through substance animates the formation of weather, tides, biological growth and geologic formation. In painting I engage this type of energy by working in very fluid media, mostly without a brush. I work by dropping paint or ink into a thick base coat of wet acrylic medium, then introducing additives such as water and alcohol. Fluid paint finds its own form – settling into clots or running across a surface, sometimes cracking as it dries. This leaves a portion of the works’ development to chance, the chemical interactions of the media, and the passage of time as they mutate while drying. There is an interweaving of the intentional with the accidental. While decisions are driven by intention, a partial abandonment of intention is also necessary, since working with extremely liquid color is a matter of participation with its behavior rather than mastery of it. The paintings suggest the growth of forms in nature, such as dendritic growth in plant life and crystals, and the push and pull of turbulence in the formation of waves and vortices.
Linda Tharp divides her time between her NYC studio in the old waterfront neighborhood of Red Hook, Brooklyn, and the fishing village of Five Islands, Maine.