2021 Artist Statement
Maps and Legends
In my art, I explore a wide range of styles and textures, always rooted in, and returning to, abstraction. During this pandemic, I have become fascinated with the lines that connect us to people and places – or disconnect us. On my daily walks I photograph the telephone lines that crisscross the sky and allow us to speak to each other. Once I would have tried to avoid these interruptions of nature but now I crave them, symbols of an end to isolation. These lines appear in my work with bold intention, creating maps that lead to those I know and love as well as to the places I have missed during this shutdown of our world. I am also mapping my inner being as I continue to push the boundaries of paint, pencil, and fragments of paper on a surface, trying to make sense of who I am in these uncertain times.
Older Artist Statements that still apply
I have two distinct series of work. Each has particular meaning to me and each influences the other. You will note that there are a number of portfolios. I consider all but the Sea and Sky series part of the overall abstract work.
In these paintings I am returning to my roots: abstraction. I work in layers of paint and etch back and forth through previous layers to expose earlier marks and colors. Graphite is a new addition and one that allows me to draw and make notes about what is going on around me.
I seek both minimalism and complexity. Busy areas contrast with quiet spots. Shades of white initially seem the same and then, on closer view, are distinctly different. I want the viewer to be drawn in and to visually excavate these paintings. I want to engage the viewer to see the whole work then deconstruct it to individual parts and then to stand back and see the whole work once again.
And finally, there is jazz, in particular 1950’s and 1960’s jazz, the music that was in the background as I grew up. Today the abstraction of the music directly effects the act of painting.
Sea and Sky series
In my sea and sky paintings I seek to honor the numinous that surrounds us. For me the spirit of nature and the elements is nowhere so evident as in the sea and the sky, the light and air of the coast of Maine.
I grew up summers on this coast. I spent the long summer days of my childhood running wild in the fields, learning to swim in the ice cold water, setting my own deep taproot into the rocky soil of this place that restores and sustains me to this day. In a personal ritual, I do not let a year pass by without swimming at least once in the bay.
Inevitably, my Eden has been discovered, and as change comes to the land, its wildness and primitive beauty retreat. In my paintings, I seek to keep alive that sense of wildness, stripping out every trace of human activity. There are no boats, no buildings, no people to distract from the true subject of the work: the open horizon, the joining of sea, sky, and earth. I hope to bring you, the viewer, to the same sense of awe and ecstasy that I feel on these shores, and to awaken in you the same reverence for your special, spiritual place.
In the 1960's I attended an amazing children's Saturday art expereince at the studio of Gino Conti in Providence, RI. For 6 years every Saturday was filled with creative adventures. I feel that it was this time in my life that has formed my life as an artist and as an art educator. There were no limits as to what we could create. The only rule was that we had to be working on whatever art project we were drawn to make.