Artist Statement

The shifting space of memory, influenced by time, forms the foundation of content for my paintings and works on paper. As meaning and influences evolve from day-to-day, the residue of the past lingers and with that are attempts to reconcile new information and knowledge with what is known, or imagined, of the past.

In my paintings, overlapping forms and fractured spaces that alternately support and negate each other, act as metaphors for changes that occur in everyday life. Shifts in relationships, spaces and perception, some subtle and others jarring, contribute to the psychological content in my work. My paintings and works on paper are made with a combination of open and opaque layers that incorporate various modes of mark making, including direct painting, drawing, image transfers and stenciling.  Taken together, this forges a sense of interdependence, history and chance happenings within the works, and, in turn, allows room for multiple meanings in my paintings.



Artist statement for my solo exhibition "Presence" at the Bridgette Mayer Gallery, Philadelphia, Pa, September 2013
”Presence” is comprised of new and recent paintings that consist of repeated, hard-edged linear gestures used to form multiple skeins of colors, each acting as a stage for successive layers, leading to an autonomous image that is the result of repeated accretion and deletion of marks. This autonomy is played out in the resulting architectonic forms having a commanding, object-like presence in the paintings, while not conforming to a specific nameable object or place. My new paintings share common interests with the looser gestural mark making of previous works, only now the images are largely confined to the interior boundaries of the painting surfaces, whereas earlier works featured curvilinear gestures of color that appeared to escape from the edges of their surfaces.

The paintings in “Presence” examine common themes that influence us on a daily basis. Physical and sensory relationships and experiences with our immediate surroundings, other people, and within our selves inform and provide starting points for the processes and imagery of this work. Outside influences such as graphic design, pattern systems, and music contribute to my on-going studio practice, as well. Once a direction takes hold, I build up my works in layers by painting, scraping, sanding, and repainting, along with utilizing varying degrees of color intensity, transparency, and opaqueness with paints and mediums to make and modify images.

Drawing-based painting gestures, repetition of marks and color all play a significant role in my paintings. They are tools that guide me in creating works that offer an opening into a unique world of visual perception. At the same time, by using painting as a means to question my experiences in the world, by extension, offer the viewer a means of exploring their own relationship(s) with and perceptions of the world around them. 

Tim McFarlane
August 2013

Relationships between time, memory, and movement form the primary foundation for my paintings. The masses of forms overlapping, supporting, and negating each other in my work mirror observations of everyday life; of how people interact with each other and their surroundings, as well as how the passage of time imposes itself on the memory of experience. I am interested in creating connections in my work for the viewer that may lead to a more unique understanding and meaning.

My paintings are built up in a combination of open and opaque layers, creating a sense of interdependence, history and chance happenings within the works. Dynamic color relationships and drawing form the organizational base for my paintings, creating spaces for entry into and discovery beyond the completed image. Filtered through experience, observation, and memory, I aim to build a dialogue with the viewer that reflects a personal experience with the world, but remains open-ended enough to allow for multiple readings and new discoveries. 

Tim McFarlane

June, 2010