My paintings explore the paradoxical relationship between human culture and the natural world. How do we manage our strange duality as animal beings within nature and rational beings that have separated from it? What does the concept of the "natural" world signify? How do wild creatures exist in the ever-constricting world that remains to them in the wake of our haunting success?
Our world has been touched and tended and tamed to such a degree that it often seems we've wrested the wild out of the wilderness. As a species, we mistakenly believed that our survival hinged on refining and degrading nature, but it is becoming ever clearer that our actions have led to an increasingly precarious habitat for all living creatures - humans included. As the fragility of nature becomes more apparent, so does its value. My paintings explore the natural world not as an expendable resource but as a past home, once left and forgotten, now longed for and dreamlike.
I paint personal refuges and interior landscapes - places to visit for solace and sanctuary. Much of my work is intuitive. My paintings are more than visually interesting compositions of creatures, objects and environments. They are imagined, invented moments that touch upon man's complicated, perplexing relationship with nature. I try to create an emotional and intellectual connection – however fleeting - between the viewer and the power of landscape, the independent web of life, the idea of nature itself.
I am interested in beauty, not superficial prettiness. My blank canvases are approached without a predefined image and the painting is developed in a slow, organic way. Painting in increasingly refined layers allows me to discover the narrative and emotional content of each composition over time. Using this method, I try to express why a sunset fills us with wonder, why a certain quality of light can make a busy day suddenly still, and why the momentary sound of a bird call can seem - for that instant - like the most important thing in the world.
David Kroll - 2008