I believe that art-making draws creative energy from unconscious processes. As an abstract painter I am interested in exploring the use of paint, fabrics, and other materials with differing textures and light-reflecting qualities to capture the sometimes fleeting, visual and mental images that people experience as well as their feelings and emotional struggles. Color and texture are central aspects of my work. While I am especially drawn to fabrics like satin that reflect light and velvet that absorbs it, their interaction with traditional art mediums such as oil paint and oil pastels as well as the new polymer mediums and industrial products such as cement and sandpaper offer a rich field for investigation.
For several years my mixed media pieces have centered around images of landscape and water. Sometimes these images are fragmentary, such as light shining on water; sometimes they bring to mind an actual landscape though no such place exists. More recently my mixed media pieces have dealt with issues of mortality, war, security and insecurity. Both my earlier work and my current pieces are often multi-layered, for example, cement covered fully or partially by fabric, then covered by paint and charcoal. As I work the surface of a piece with various media, I often de-construct and re-construct it by tearing, sanding, and re-working it so that underlying layers can be uncovered, almost in an archeological sense. My working process is both rough and delicate. Serendipity plays an important role, so that discovery is a constant ingredient of working. As hidden marks and images emerge and are built on, I try to use them to express a range of emotions and to generate a sense of light, place, object, and environment.
At the same time as I have worked with abstract imagery, I have also been drawn to photo-realistic images of people and landscape, especially as rendered in charcoal on paper. And, more recently, I have taken up the challenge of blending photographic realism with abstraction in the same piece, still using mixed media with a focus on nature. With these pieces, I have used a digital print of a charcoal landscape drawing as an underlying base to overwork with paint, fabric, polymer media, and/or other traditional media such as colored pencil and charcoal. The completed “overwork”, now a mixed media piece, is still a landscape, but the abstraction has added color, texture, and some mystery to what the viewer is seeing.