Naïve and Sentimental Painting

The title for this group of paintings alludes to an essay by the German playwright, poet, and philosopher Friedrich Schiller: On Naïve and Sentimental Poetry (1795). Schiller identified two fundamental creative impulses: the spontaneous and unfiltered naïve, and the self-conscious and reflective sentimental. (In his terms “sentiment" was akin to “realist” and was associated with the loss of the naïve.) To approach birds, flowers, butterflies, snails, etc., from the naïve standpoint is impossible; these paintings, then, combine my personal, unfiltered relationship to the natural world with counter impulses towards analytical reserve.