My paper collage work is created and prompted by the materials, techniques and processes I have developed rather than by a preconceived plan. I am interested in texture and layers of surface and sometimes employ unconventional materials, such as faux fur or rust. I enjoy the surprise of using such materials. Imperfection, abjectness and roughness coinciding with beauty and a kind of humble elegance are my main goals. Nature is often my reference and is my biggest source of inspiration for shape, color and texture. I think of nature as being "blind", as in lacking our sense of vision, so the individual work grows in a more haptic, visceral way as I work on it. I often think of an individual work as either trying to break free of the rectangle or trying to return to the rectangle while still holding itself together. Three-dimensionality has become a natural outgrowth from the texture in previous works. My work also, in the manner of construction and materials, feels to me like a rebellion against our class system and economic entitlement and strives to become accepted on its own terms within its own limitations. In this way, art-making becomes, for me, a transcendence of personal history.
Dystopolises and other landscapes:
Topographies, texture and earth seen from above are the themes I return to often in my artistic life. There is also a micro-macro aspect to these surfaces: we may be viewing the surface of the earth through a microscope or a telescope. "Dystopolis" is a made up word which refers to a future post-human earth.
The focus of these works is materiality, texture, process and experimentation. What is important is the physicality of the work without reference to imaginary space. I disengage my will to a certain extent in order to allow the painting to manifest in a natural organic way, as if of its own accord. The evidence of the “artist’s hand” in brushwork is mostly foregone in favor of the use of stencils to create texture. The primacy of the texture pushes the paintings into the same tactile space we inhabit. .
Mixed Media:My exploration with mixed media is driven by a need to create works without illusory space, and is focused on materiality, texture, process and experimentation. Some of my materials are vintage fabric scraps, saved or found "trash", burlap, plastic, foam, paper, twine and twigs. My materials and formal choices are intuitive and very much dependent on the process as it develops in their creation. I apply chance processes in my work, preferring to not dictate the shapes of collage materials myself, but to use things as I find them for the most part. My work is often layered, stuffed, quilted or wrapped with left over canvas and other fabric scraps allowing some results to exist in between classically defined categories of sculpture and painting.
My oil paintings employ an additive and subtractive painting technique that create layered “maps,” which can be read across the uppermost surface or down through the painting’s layers, often seen through the wiped off parts of each layer for the pathways. I like to think of these layers as the co-mingling of the past and the present in our experience of life. The subtractive wiped areas and the transparent areas, which simultaneously reveal and conceal previous layers, expose the past. The solid and transparent areas and lines which block previous layers and assert the most recent activity are the present. This is the way we live our lives - with past experiences enriching the present and the present experiences reinterpreting the past.
My body of work, Terradaptions is based on the graphic qualities of aerial photos of earth. Derived from satellite views of mostly urban and industrial areas, these images were computer manipulated as sketches to work from and then further cultivated with paint on canvas. Employing transparent layers, blurring and invented occurrences, Terradaptions create dreamlike geographies. The finished paintings can be interpreted on a metaphorical level --as a snapshot revealing an area's psychological or oneiric state at a particular moment.