With early artistic training in dance and later study in the visual arts, I find that I want to fill my paintings with color and texture while exploring space and mood. Building on this foundation, I strive to express life and living, as well as form and essence. I embrace the opposites of fall and recovery, ebb and flow, and expansion and contraction.
Inspired by quantum physics, Gaia theory and the world views of a number of cultures, I seek the unity and flow in visions: dreamlike places; mythological scenes; sacred spaces. I am also inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s belief that we should be the change we want to see in the world. This guides me to try to imbue my paintings and jewelry with a tranquil, ethereal feeling. While the jewelry pieces are abstract, in the paintings I strive to reposition nature so that it serves not as background but as an integral part of our environment. Within these spaces, essential figurative forms develop. These scenes relay my hope that we can overcome the apparent deterioration of our social, cultural and environmental systems and live more harmoniously.
To achieve the rich, textured surface for these scenes, I work mostly in layers. In the jewelry, I use transparent and opaque glass, dichroic glass, silver and beads. In the paintings, I work in mixed-media, layering acrylic paint, decorative papers, found images, charcoal and other elements that help define the piece. When I begin a piece, I use music to help me envision a place and its inherent emotions. I begin by sketching, feeling the music, drawing its sounds, trying to see its colors. Often, I will look for fragments of found images that match these ideas. I then begin to piece the glass or paint. As the work progresses, I try to surrender to the materials and the process. The subject of the piece, its story and rhythm, develop from within. Through this unfolding, I discover and enhance the forms that evolve. I call the paintings figurative landscapes. They are the world as I wish it could be: figure and landscape intertwined and interdependent.
On glass panels:
I love color and the alchemy of taking solid pieces of glass, heating them until they melt and blend, and cooling them until they are united in a single form of flowing color and shape. While I have some control, there is also always an element of surprise as I open the kiln. It is a constant process of discovery. These pieces are all fused glass built by layering pieces of colored glass, firing them at 1200-1500 degrees, and often coldworking them to refine the shapes. The process may be repeated until the composition is appealing. Some of the pieces are then enhanced with fine silver settings and embellishments. In some of the pieces, I use dichroic glass -- that fiery, somewhat metallic looking glass. I also like to etch away the dichroic to make designs of black. When working on the panels, I begin with a pastel drawing. The rich colors and free flowing chalk help me capture the composition and energy that can be translated into glass. Along with using layers of glass, I melt stringers (long, thin pieces of glass) over a candle flame to get the fine, intricate shapes withing the panels.