Inspired by the evidence of natural forces on rocks, walls and wood, Boe creates patinas in the deeply worked surfaces of her paintings. Just as the erosion of wind and rain on plaster, wood, and paint represent time’s passage, her paintings are meditations on history and its long arc of change.
Boe creates her lively textures by directly engaging with her raw materials. In lieu of traditional brushwork, she applies paint, oil and cold wax with soft rollers and even more directly with her hands. Sand, ash, earth and pigment may be added. A branch or knife is used to scrape and dent. As the work progresses, layers and crevices appear, then recede, like rust or lichen; stress and wear marks evolve.
Such subtle, irregular surfaces come from Boe’s close observation of the effects of the eternal and elemental actions of sun and atmosphere. These are her best guides to creative vision. The rich surface detail of her paintings is a closely observed commentary on the inexorable agents of nature, breaking down subtly but irregularly whatever objects come into its path.
Ultimately, the subject of Dorte Boe’s work is a kind of natural history itself. She emulates nature’s accretions and residue and thereby reveals the tracings of invisible actions. In creating such painted pieces, the artist is both creator and destroyer: herself a force of nature.