It’s about exploring, and then mapping.
I explore by traveling the back roads, favoring four on the floor and the rag top down, and hoping to get lost. I explore by holding still, watching, listening – receiving. I am not lost, because my forefathers stood on this prairie and watched the falcon circle, and, on Sunday afternoons, my father taught me to see.
I map with light and color, with weather and air, and with celebration. Watercolor is particularly suited in its translucence to painting light and air, and it also matches weather in its unpredictability – in painting, as in living, better to accommodate than try to dominate. I map color in shape, and shape in space; I find space and feel temperature in texture and tone. Experimenting with pigment consistency, papers, brushes, knives, sponges, sticks, gelato spoons, Dremel, resists, gesso, pastels, memories, and dreams extends the ranges of texture and tone.
The maps are about place, because place is our grounding, our primal and most vital connection between self and other, and among each other. If I participate fully in the place I know, I am part of the rhythm of the land, and I live in, go from and return to, a center. If you and I share experience of place, we are sister and brother, and in our consequent commitment to that place and each other, we might discover a chance of redefining our relationship to our planet, away from dominion and toward integration.
Because the maps represent place as connection, the paintings are more abstract than representational. When I am really old, and my paintings really true, they will be really simple.
Born and raised a mountain woman, Gia Hamilton crossed the high divide from word work to art work when she got old enough, at around 60. She has trained at the Colorado Academy of Art and in many workshops across the American West; she paints en plein aire and in her studio in the foothills of Boulder, Colorado.