Sloat Shaw - Artist Statement
When I paint, I enter the unknown, a place that feels both outside time and rich with
dreams and myths about the earth. I connect with this zone which allows the paint to flow
on canvas without my conscious interference. I find that ancient myths have relevance to
help explain our present chaotic times.
During my studies with anthropologists Margaret Mead and Levi Strauss, I learned of
universal myths that reach beyond time. I found a new context for my interest in how
societies are organized. With paint, I could explore the world in an entirely new way. I
began to use the myths of the ancient world, where the land is alive and responding to
humanity, to evoke a vibrant earth.
My paintings, built slowly over time with thin glazes, aim to evoke the feeling of both
movement and stillness, as well as a sense of the long reach of time. I use Earth/Sky Chi
Gung Meditation to stimulate unconscious parts of my brain, and make visible an invisible
As the painting emerges through layer after layer, older layers settle, and new ones emerge.
When I paint the constant shifts in the earth, I rely upon inner vision. I picture rock and
earth in my mind in the same manner as I picture bones and muscle lying beneath flesh
when I paint portraits.
My goal is to embrace the freedom of looking deep within, to find that place of unspoken
but universally shared memories, and to let that journey inward inform the painting with