Beauty. Meditative thought. Nuance. These are subjects of my collagraphs. They take on important implications when examined in light of today’s American instant gratification culture. While convenience, speed and availability have become hallmarks of our American way of life and our society’s progress, there remains a need for something more meaningful.
That something is beauty. From my frame of personal artistic reference, “beauty” involves the viewer by initiating the response of taking pause, suddenly, unawares. Arousing the response from deep within, beauty disarms and fulfills at one and the same time. This elusive beauty is vital nourishment for mind
Does today’s American art disarm and fulfill? How well are our minds and souls being nourished? Unfortunately, Americans’ appreciation and awareness of beauty are partially numbed by their frenzy experience of instant gratification. Beauty falls prey to the mindset of fast food, “Shop till you drop” and instant access to just about everything. We sacrifice refined taste, uniqueness and rewarded perseverance for what often is ephemeral and not quite satisfying.
What this means for artists is that their best pieces can be easily overlooked. Unless relevance and nuance of an artwork can be realized immediately, instant gratification deems that it be put aside in favor of something less demanding. So much for vitally enriching visual experiences. So much for their revelations of meditative thought.
By its nature, my work automatically protests this mindless instant gratification because my art is grounded in deliberation. Dealing with insight, surprise, humor, honesty, and so many other elements, I treat them all thoughtfully and with awareness as my own search for beauty continues. In addition to subject matter and formal design elements, I also take great care in choosing inks, paper and especially collage materials for my plates.
Do I find beauty in my artwork? Sometimes. More importantly, sometimes others find it in my work as well, despite the numbing frenzy. This spurs me to continue nourishing our culture, along with all the other artists who are doing