artist statement

My paintings reference tangled grids of veins, networks of tree branches, collections of cells, and seed-like forms.  Light and color fade in and out, and delicate lines tumble through complex compositions in my explorations with oil, acrylic and watercolor paint on paper, canvas and fabric.  My organic abstractions serve as therapeutic starting and ending points, a means by which I use mark making to speak from and to the soul.  On a more intellectual level, I use my work to connect a place to an idea.  Within the “superimposed cities” body of work, I make detailed pre-drawings of cities superimposed on top of one another, so that new, imaginary cities spawn from disparate, yet sociologically relevant, and very real, times and places.  The streets of Ancient Rome intersect those of present-day Washington, D.C., and the streets of my neighborhood of Red Hook intersect the fictional country roads of William Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi, of the 1920’s.  In each painting I focus on locations where historical events have taken place and cut into the canvas on footprints of buildings and other landmarks.  I stuff sheer pockets of fabric with bits and pieces of the earth and its elements—seeds, twigs, moss, stones and glass—such that these locations take on a physical, three-dimensional presence within the two-dimensional plane. Through these painted and sewn documents, I challenge viewers to see reality as a collapsed space-time continuum, wherein related current and past events are inextricably entwined. These pieces also serve as the personal account of the horror I have experienced as these cities have crumbled in more ways than one.  As part of my ongoing sculptural exploration, I am currently using antique boxes as starting points.  I insert seeds and other elements of the earth and juxtapose them with rusty, time-worn symbols such as keys and nails.  In my collage series, I pin and sew fabric shapes onto fabric planes, and juxtapose them with words from texts I have found significant, from Faulkner to the Bible.  I use bits and pieces of the words—fragments—rather than complete sentences.  My intention is to take the words out of context just enough that the words can raise questions about much further-reaching ideas surrounding life, death, and the things we hold dear.