Artist Statement

Kasey Keeler

The images I make, inspired by the landscape of central Wyoming, are not simply accurate records of a specific geographic location. The act of painting with wax—a slow, methodical, contemplative process—also encourages me to uncover and interpret the qualities that are the true bones of a place: Stories. Traditions. Ideas. Connections. Such varied influences often accumulate to create a tangled mess of information that at first is hard for me to decipher. It is harder still to decide what kind of imagery might be the most concise way to represent all of the subtle complexities of a place. Working in the studio allows the ideas to mix, sort, condense, and eventually to distill into something pure. Consequently, the end results of this process of looking, thinking and painting are often quite minimal and abstract.

Years ago I read a short article on the painter Agnes Martin that described her typical day and made a beautiful analogy between the quiet thoughtfulness of her paintings and the near monastic-like quality of her life and studio practice. Early to rise, several hours in the studio, a short walk to eat lunch at her favorite small diner (always the same order and always with a glass of water), back to the studio to sit and look and think about the work she had done that morning, early to bed. Similarly, I think, read, walk and look out the window as much as I paint. These activities are the tools I use to both decide what to make and how to understand it once it has been finished.