Painting was my first Love. Over the course of my career my techniques and materials have evolved, but I remain in love with the act of telling stories and celebrating human experience though my artwork.
From the beginning, painting people meant more than achieving a physical likeness. I wanted the work to tell a story about the person depicted, what was going on below the surface-maybe a specific story or just the suggestion of a rich inner life - getting to the heart of the matter.
When stitching embroidery I feel a conduit and continuation of the narrative quality, the need for storytelling, which occurs throughout history. The real and mythological blend that makes up life both past and into the present, intersect. Additionally the playful shift of perspective allows for another dimension or layer to the tale. There is a physical, tangible connection with all the people who have worked with needle and thread throughout history; the metaphors of thread as a connection- a way of tracing one’s past and connecting to the future. Also the laborious yet constant nature of the process, building works stitch by stitch.
The same sort of marriage of ideas and historical narrative happens when working with the mosaic tile. I feel connected to a way of communicating ideas, which is centuries old. The themes common to my work-the cyclical nature of life expressed through the four seasons, the planting and harvesting of food and stewardship of the earth are common subjects in glass, as are relating the common needs and desires of humankind regardless of where or when we live and the resiliently of the human heart mind and spirit.
The first suite of color lithographs I made over a year’s time at Mahaffey Fine Art. Again the process itself is full of history and magic, built layer upon layer with worlds of experimentation and concentration mixed in. The printmaking definitely informed my painting; I made sketches to draw the lithographs and painted paintings from the prints.
Through my years of working, the underlying themes of a life’s work resonate deeply and are linked together by these different manners of art making. Each medium allows a new freedom of expression and the images and narrative have a different slant; a new way of more complexly expressing emotion and looking at important ideas. Whether reading, sewing or harvesting fruit, the figures within the paintings are immersed in their task with a singular devotion. Their intense focus reflects the way we create our own world enabling us to survive within the larger world. I have tried to create a sense of permanence, stability and structure within the body of my work that the viewer might rely upon in the midst of constant change, to draw strength and hope and comfort.