The concept for this collection of paintings came from my trips to Maine over the last 14 Years. As a traditionally-trained painter, I have done many paintings using a classical approach to landscape. In my recent visits I wanted to inspect close-up the layers of the familiar land and sea in order to study their most basic nature. 

Simultaneously, I wanted to ask myself what are the sublayers that make us human? What do the small details look like that make us who we are? As our lives have evolved into sound bites and Twitter feeds we frequently judge others on first impressions and miss the details of who people are. I'm guilty of that as well. 

I became fascinated with the Cherokee concept that pools of water are portals to another reality. I found this idea interesting and mysterious. I decided to combine paintings of high tide and low tide water that come and go with paintings of pools of water that stay put year round. Formally I was interested in the aesthetic aspect of the micro versus macro views, something that continues to pull me. 

I remember when I was taking these photographs and doing studies, I thought that those underwater pebble fields looked like NASA’s pictures of the far universe and that those pebbles actually came from those far places, as all of us might have done. The pools became my portals to discovery of life's mysteries and my search for balance. 

-Timur Akhriev 2016