Art springs from Life; Life springs from Art
I have been making art for thirty years and can’t imagine a life without a creative outlet to enrich it. I have studied oil painting, pastels, drawing, sculpture and encaustic with some gifted artists in extended workshops around the country. My fascination with the form and expression of the human figure has been the overarching theme, no matter what the medium. I have never been interested in creating likenesses – I like the freedom to change and exaggerate features to enhance my composition or concept. The influence of modern art, along with my appreciation of the many facets of our lives and personalities, has helped me make those choices. Humans are full of mystery and contradictions and examining our complexities brings me great joy.
Currently, my paintings are done in acrylic and occasionally in encaustic, an ancient medium using hot wax and oil pigments. There are so many surprises and happy accidents that add layers of beauty and interest to a work. I tend to follow my instincts rather than having a prepared plan when I make art. I like to see what happens when I let the uncritical part of me lead the way. It’s not always easy but it can free up my imagination. Of course, I pay attention to composition and form and color but unless I let that free part of my mind come out to play, the work isn’t as engaging as when I do. I’ve grown fond of the Japanese concept of “wabi sabi,” which embraces the idea of beauty in imperfection. That doesn’t translate to carelessness but to the willingness to allow beautiful things to happen in their own way. Running into difficulties is part of the process, but sometimes figuring out how to solve the problem leads you in a new direction and makes a better piece. So much of creativity seems to be on a subconscious level. I’m fascinated with the way images and ideas emerge when you least expect it. The process of creating art is intoxicating and calming at the same time.
I embrace solitude – also a recurring theme in my work – as a necessary element in my life and in my art. I believe that quiet stirs the creative imagination and allows ideas to develop almost subconsciously.
I know that art will take me wherever it wants me to go. And I know it will be a place that nurtures and inspires me – where the only problems to solve are creative ones. Solving those problems feeds the soul.