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2012 East Austin Studio Tour

My experience creating hand-pulled woodblock prints spans over twenty years—a lot of time for the quiet meditation of carving and the splinters that go with it. I print without machinery, using palm gouges to carve and a simple wooden spoon as my press. I only make one print because in our times of material and media abundance only one is necessary. I work reductively, carving and printing in stages so that each block is reduced or destroyed as the image is produced and created. Each image remains singular, thus sacred, reflecting one experience in time.


The many contrasts inherent in these woodblock prints keep me engaged—the fast gestural line that is carved slowly, a random splash that takes hours to create, the raised rough wood becoming a dark smooth inked line, the obsessive pattern throughout providing both unity and noise.


Through my imagery I seek to obfuscate, deconstruct, reassemble and transform my everyday relationships with the shapes and patterns of the world. I seek images which deliberately set on edge the associations we bring to forms as our perceptual associations drive our entire way of thinking. I am not a symbolist nor a pure abstractionist: I use forms which might mean many things, have several names, or be both whimsical and terribly dark at the same time. The images serve as a metaphor between the visual impression of something and the conjuring of its name. Each image is an invitation to explore our ever-changing stream of perceptions and from that experience gain a type of wisdom for which there are no words.


       Lately when I create art it is about getting out of my own head. Letting go of control over the world and planning every minute. It is a kind of meditation that allows my emotions to spill onto the page without being filtered, judged, and edited. I try to let my subconscious direct the process. I like to use organic materials I collect from my yard and on walks. I also use cut paper and found objects in my work. I love that what is essentially a weed can turn into something beautiful on the page and it has given me a new way of looking at the world around me. I have found that art helps me to be more intuitive, creative, and relaxed in all aspects of my life.

I strive for Magritte's basic intention, to make art with a "disturbing poetic effect."ť My work presents exotic subjects in the drama of black and white, or the subtle monochromatic tones of printers' inks. The prints are based on my photos of real places and slightly mysterious objects that are embraced by a post-apocalyptic anxiety, which induces a state of psychological unease in the viewer. The images raise questions, but knowing the back story doesn't necessarily provide comfort. The result is by turns intimate, earthy, fragile, universal, and contemporary. The images are full of the organic subtlety showing the naked beauty of weathered rock and plants, contrasted with man-made architectural elements. The organic elements complement the man-made. In purely aesthetic terms, the works use an interplay of tones and textures, with formal qualities of composition in the arrangements of objects under the viewer's gaze. The unfamiliar induces a state of ambiguity mixed with a strange longing or nostalgia. The camera captures temporal events, figurative and narrative, fragments in the cycle of life and death. History is revealed in multiple layers with an underlying order and inherent drama exposed in contrast and detail, painterly and sculptural at the same time.

My work is a constant search of knowledge, both personal and external. I concentrate on the consideration of life, time and space. My work synthesizes mythology and reality into dynamic environments in which spaces expand and contract unexpectedly. Using energetic patterns and lines, I create planes intertwined with people and animals creating an exuberant narrative. Recently I extended my interest into natural motifs in a series of mountain and forest landscapes, in which a principle moment appears frozen. Challenging the notions of time and sequence, in which the viewer completes the narrative.

I currently create nature-related abstract prints. The line work images represent a small part of a natural being, such as an insect. As I work to create these images, I abstract them as I am sketching before I begin cutting my plates.

I also have created a series of prints based on imagery in an old book about geography: Map, Mail Stops, Contour, and Flight Path

And, I occasionally create a representational print such as Medium Brew, for the 2016 WPA Trade.

I enjoy creating art from life. I feel that we are the sum of our experiences and that each moment is an opportunity to become something more. I think we should cherish the mundane, the every day, and the daily routines as they are the root of our personality, the fundamental base of who we are, and which contain the most comfortable moments of our lives.
 
Aside from subject matter I like to blur the border of media. I felt I had reached a peak in my drypoint line drawings. I have always been drawn to charcoal; the softness of the tone; the fragility of the medium. At any moment the marks could be blown or rubbed off the paper. I felt it would be a great achievement to create a reproducible print which captured the very essence of charcoal. Working with hand tools only using roulettes, sandpaper, a drypoint needle, and a scraper/burnisher I have successfully achieved my goal and feel that I have much more to learn.

I view my work as a collaboration with nature. I make handmade paper with plant materials from my garden. My photographs are also mainly taken in my garden or on hikes. I am fascinated with symbols and intricate patterns that, to me, give glimpses and insights into to the great mysteries of life.

Exhibition Details
WHEN:
11/10/2012 - 11/18/2012
11:00 AM-6:00 PM
WHERE:
WPA Studio at Pump Project Satellite Studio
CONTACTS:
Chair: Carolyn Kimball
Co-Chair: Ruthie Powers
Participate
Event Deadline
The deadline for this event (11/10/2012) has passed.