My artwork ranges painting (abstraction and plein-air) and sculpture (wall pieces, floor pieces and installation).
I have found that using sculpture and craft methods and materials further inform the 2 dimensional works. As a child I did a lot of sewing and assemblage using craft items and items from nature. Later, I focused on painting as both an undergraduate and graduate student.
In the past 27 years, I’ve gone back and forth between painting and sculpture, approaching both in the same intuitive, spontaneous process. Often, choosing 2d materials, traditional store art supplies, found objects, and collected relics makes for surprising, concrete and informative juxtapositions.
Making sculpture, besides the challenge of gravity and attaching elements, doesn’t allow for too many extraneous moves – which corresponds to narrowing of intentions while painting. I’ve gained an increased sense of making deliberate, succinct moves in the process of painting.
Painting and making sculpture continue to intrigue me as a scenario for a transformation taking place in mind and in material. I've found that there is a point in the process, whether layering paint on a surface, or combining materials into an object, where the intended possible direction turns. I can liken it to when a lake 'turns over' in the fall and the water changes. What was once on the bottom circulates into the semi opaque frozen surface layer.
This is an easy metaphor, considering the liquid fluidity of paint. The sensuality of paint on a slick surface suggests a more interactive parallel. I set up an area in which to play, weave, layer, scrape and wrestle, turning over marks and colors, mixing and arranging. The metaphor works for 3d materials also, as textural elements are combined, subtracted, balanced, and solidified (further, the lake melts, and growth – the cycle continues). In a sculpture, the additive and subtractive process is similar, but the chosen materials allude to more personal reference.
I particularly enjoy this point where pushing parameters I've set up leads to new surprises. In essence, I set up rules, break them and find resolution. Paint is a very resilient and lively medium, resulting in a halted abstraction of a certain time.
I frequently visit a beach in Brooklyn called Dead Horse Bay and collect old, broken and dirty fragments of household objects (dinnerware, figurines, children's toys) on the shoreline. It is an unsealed landfill from the 1950's (and earlier) that is bursting from erosion by waves, storms and tide action.
Much more than mere trash, it is the belongings of people who were evicted from their homes when highways were built around Brooklyn and Queens. The path to the beach is gorgeous with wildlife and trees, and one would never know what lies beneath, until you reach the littered shoreline.
I think of uprooted families when I see these personal objects and the pottery shards, bottles, and other familiar wrecked detritus - and assemble sculpture pieces combining crocheted or sewn parts. Much of this activity references my own feelings of loss and fear. I fear for so many people that live on the edge, whether it be people like myself living ‘paycheck to paycheck’, refugee families making their way, people in the way of what someone else may consider ‘progress.’ So many live in situations that are tenuous at best, close to Ruin. Ruin on a psychic, sociological level - and a landfill leaking into the ocean on an environmental level – all tests of resiliency.
The themes in my work are about change and growth, strength and vulnerability, loss and resiliency, often using plant-life and biological forms to symbolically express this activity and movement.
Nature, animal sea-life, and landscape inspire me to push my imagination. I think about systems, mutations, accidents and adaptations that occur in nature and in human nature. My imagination parallels these processes in a variety of media.
Often overwhelmed by relentless stimuli and information, making art affords some resolution, beauty or humor. As a mature artist, past memories, and concerns about aging, color some pieces dark along with translucent light, as I consider life’s trajectory. Not only does my work reflect an interior life, but contain my reactions to current issues in the state of our culture and politics. In short, my artwork matches my outlook of life being a real tangled mess and mystery with some good surprises to inspire hope.