I create abstract woodblock prints to investigate and respond to the visual, tactile, and experiential world. I make these works by carving marks into wood that is then rolled with ink. The inked impression is transferred to paper by rubbing with a wooden spoon. Each layer of color builds a surface that is both planned and accidental. Printing and carving occur in stages—I cut back into the same blocks over and over again through time. In this way, as the print is created, the blocks are destroyed. I view the process of relief printmaking as a metaphor exposing the gaps between the physical, the imagined, and what we perceive as the "seen” reality.
My imagery resides in this gap between visual impressions and the conjuring of names or descriptions. This gap is what separates the familiar from the unknown and is where I try to situate each work. I juxtapose the sensual and visceral against the spiritual and symbolic and create realms where the sacred and profane exist in tandem. To accomplish this, I obfuscate, deconstruct, reassemble, and transform visuals culled from my perceptions of both organic and man-made environments, dreams, memories, and learned or imagined myths.
I aim to discover images that deliberately set on edge the associations we bring to forms. In other words, I use forms that might mean many things, have several names, or be both whimsical and terribly dark at the same time. Since the process of constructing narratives is fluid, active, and personal, each viewer completes the work, bringing his or her own associations to bear in how to decipher each piece. It is in this open space—this stream of ever-changing perceptions, before mental categorization and verbal assignments—where we discover how to bridge what we see with what we know.
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.
11/10/2012 - 11/18/2012
11:00 AM-6:00 PM
WPA Studio at Pump Project Satellite Studio
Chair: Carolyn Kimball
Co-Chair: Ruthie Powers
The deadline for this event (11/10/2012) has passed.