Visual Artist: Paintings; Visual Artist: Prints / Digital Art
I grapple with personal subjects in my work â€“ images drawn from family, conflicts in relationships, rites of passage, illness, death, vanity and prejudice. Through symbols, such as, tornados, which can be simultaneously beautiful and horrific, I explore emotional conflict. Like relationships, violent weather can be exhilarating or devastating. Other symbols such as ravens, sumo wrestlers and houses reoccur like frozen film frames as I work through narratives of the grandfather I never knew, the threat of a cancer diagnosis, the struggle with obesity or the comfort and strength of home, family and love.As a former curator and art journalist, there are often references to well-known artistâ€™s works as well as to older works of my own. Rene Magritteâ€™s, Leci nâ€™est pas une Pipe or This is Not a Pipe inspired me to think critically about what is real and what is illusory. Magritteâ€™s painted pipe reminds us that we are looking at the semblance of the real world not the thing itself. With that in mind, I have begun incorporating three-dimensional elements in my paintings, one foot in the real world; one in illusion. A robe will be painted to appear three-dimensional and partially built up with modeling paste and fabric. Elements literally emerge from a flat picture plane.This balance between illusion and reality includes drawing at every stage of the painting process, in the under-painting and on the surface of the top layer. Although I use different kinds of mark making and varying brush strokes in oil, acrylic, watercolor or mixed media, drawing is the foundation and often the embellishment in my work. The intimacy and immediacy of drawing remains a critical part of my painting process.