PAINTING, PRINTMAKING, COLLAGE
PAINTING: I have always been motivated by the physical substance that is oil paint and the process of stream of consciousness, recollection, intuition, that surfaces as I work in my studio. My themes often surface from a current preoccupation: nature, the urban environment, a vase or other shape I am struck by, an emotion, or a memory. Making art is an exploratory process and a grounding process at the same time. While using the materials to create a composition, I become aware of what is running beneath my daily consciousness. Often I don’t even start with a particular image or plan, perhaps just a mood or a wish to delve into color. With my paintings, emotion is always part of the work, so I try to get intellectual thinking out of the way and push myself to break free. I pick up the brushes, select a color, and make a free-form composition on the canvas. Responding to the action of making marks, seeing stokes of colors, takes me down an unfolding visual path. I keep painting until I find the story then I work on refining the surface action until the story comes clear and the composition settles into itself.
PRINTMAKING: I focus on monotype (one of a kind) printmaking. With this process I am pulled into the beauty and intensity of the inks and wonder what story I can tell with color and shape. Monotype is spontaneous and surprising. Though I make a plan to use certain colors and shapes, or brushstrokes, it is not an exact process. After inking your plate, placing the paper on it, and running it through the press, that is when you find out if you got the image you hoped to. Some parts may be darker or lighter than you expected; it depends on many factors, how much ink you used, whether you calculated image placement correctly (since it prints backward), and whether it is just not as interesting as you had hoped, and you decide it needs more work. So, you try again.
COLLAGE is a process I have worked with for many years, but usually “on the side” from painting and printmaking. In the last two years, however, I have focused more on collage, specifically creating new works from earlier monotypes. Those monotype prints that I feel are less successful, I cut up to save the really delicious parts, and make a new composition from them. It’s been an exciting process and, again, it takes a different level of energy and timing to work on them than when I paint or make prints. The beauty of collage is that one is working with papers and objects that already have a life of their own. You take these pieces and move them around until they have their own new message created from the old.
MY STUDIO: Having a studio at the Shipyard has been fundamental to my art life. I am grateful to Jacques Terzian for having started this “art colony” and to Shipyard Trust for the Arts for keeping it here, and to all the artists at the Shipyard for inspiring me.