ARTIST STATEMENT: "To see a world in a grain of sand
And heaven in a wild flower
Hold infinity in the palms of your hand
And eternity in an hour."
- William Blake (1757-1827)
Fragment from "Auguries of Innocence"
My mixed media drawings, paintings, and sculptures are inspired by my attempt to capture certain visual experiences: the sunlight as it hits flowing water, flocking birds appearing and disappearing as they circle overhead, and how the wind makes leaves dance through the air. I am also affected by the catastrophic results of climate change and the impact trash and toxic materials have on the environment and our health.
To this end, my pieces fuse recycled materials with non-toxic art supplies to create narratives related to personal and collective history, memory, and spiritual beliefs. Organically and spontaneously, my drawings evolve as if assembling a puzzle without ever seeing the image. I use strong geometric structures that act as vessels to contain and also divide the natural world from the more abstract and surreal one. I have been influenced by Blake’s watercolor stories, the metaphysical richly textured work of 20th century artist Mark Tobey, and the complex optical illusionary graphics of MC Escher.
My materials are key elements to the work. Newspaper articles and collage materials with contemporary content share space with bits of my previous drawings and sculptures, while playing with the juxtaposition of what is real and imaginary. In addition, paints, inks, colored pencils, and markers are incorporated with images from my used calendars, travel photos, puzzle pieces, and memorabilia. Other found and collected materials include: sand, wire, guitar strings, mirrors, feathers, fabric, shells, and beads. For my sculptures, I include post consumer non-biodegradable formed polystyrene (Styrofoam) packing material as the base. Their shapes remind me of houses, frames, and monolithic structures and provide nooks and crannies to display objects. I contrast the lightness of polystyrene with salvaged wood and rescued tree stumps to divide the piece into symbols of earth, water and sky. By weaving together these seemingly disparate elements, I can tinker and explore new ideas and visual connections.