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Artist Statement

 

My work addresses time and place, and their connection to the soul.

 

Is this what I must be doing now?  How deeply do I feel it?  If the answers are “yes”, and “very”, I begin to work.  I usually select imagery I have experienced personally, and to which I can connect a strongly felt reason to work and explore.  Concept or idea drives my choice of media, except when I am simply yearning to pick up a brush, or knead clay.

 

The Improbably Possible series of paintings combine disparate imagery from the real to the virtual.  I like art historian Marcus Verhagen’s idea that travel and communication technologies are metaphors for this century’s modernity, with our world best captured not in one place or another, but in the traffic between.  In these history paintings, I conflate time and culture into ambiguous narrative, and comment on the surreality I experience in today’s life.  

 

The physical environment of Cappadocia, Turkey provided imagery for much of the Over My Shoulder paintings series.  My experience of that place and its story resonated with my existential questions of those years.  David Whyte’s poems, The Well of Grief and The Half Turn of Your Face, infused the mood of some of them.  In others, I could not resist the poignant, transitory beauty of the Soganli Valley and its romantic history of Neolithic Catal Huyuk and Roman persecution. 

 

In making the artist book The Place Called Grandma, I became what Jacques Derrida would call an archon, obsessively tumbling into a rabbit-hole-like tunnel, digging for memories of childhood Christmas-time family visits to my maternal grandmother’s home in southern Arizona.  When I realized that my grandmother scared me, but I loved her house, I wrote the narrative poem and created a 21-image folio.  I researched and digitally manipulated family snapshots, the shapes and colors used by Madison Avenue in the early ‘60s, and the toys we played with, to help myself recall the textural and sensual impressions of that place and time.

 

For years, I photographed the personal shrines I found as a traveler to Catholic countries.  I finally realized their appeal; they signified humble recognition of an ultimate lack of control and a request for spiritual assistance at the level of the street.  In the Everyday Altars print series; I pay homage to cultures that do not strive to control the uncontrollable.