by Careen Stoll
Every so often on the journey of life, one reaches seemingly impassable terrain. In January of this year, Scott Conary’s wife gave birth to a girl with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Within a few days, she endured the first of three surgeries to be spaced out over her childhood. Scott describes the surgery as something from science fiction, and the experience of those weeks of raw fear and unreal, unavoidable processing of each family member’s pain as akin to stopping a train.
How does the creative person navigate such shifts in their personal landscape? Scott’s paintings are at once straightforward and mysterious: figures stand in undefinable communication with each other, and farmhouses might be placed on only semi-recognizeable land. When describing his paintings, he writes that he tries to create a “solidity” in the play between the subject matter and how much he enjoys using the paint itself as subject matter. Where, then, is his new reality, as the fragile child that he loves is subjected to tangles of probes and tubes. She was given the name Analogue Jane in reference to her eventual ability to escape these impositions of her surgery. His painting is “driven by a love and curiosity of the natural world and how we live within it.” As his internal creative narrative incorporates a new character, how will his dry and kind sense of humor assist him in the description of this beloved new life?
Scott will be opening his studio again in October. Be sure to check out his portfolio at Conary.org.