My six years in the thriving art community of Chicago were important for both my artistic and professional development because it taught me to increase my focus more on the act of painting. I have found that experiencing and reflecting upon the wide range of work I have encountered in the various collections and galleries in which I have worked or visited has been as critical to my painting as the act of painting itself.
My current studies in textiles at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, has been a liberating influence on my oil alkyd paintings. Researching various textiles that range from mid-century American designer garments to Japanese Sashiko hand sewing and Shibori dye samples has reinforced my love of minimalism and expressive paint application. They have inspired me to paint on un-stretched canvas and to incorporate a blend of various other artmaking techniques such as collage, printmaking techniques and hand stitching which enhance the expressive potential of cloth. Like the Shibori dye process, in my work, the removal of an art medium is as important as its application. As a result, my paintings are constructed and deconstructed through a series of actions and reactions that rely heavily on intuition and subsequent choices. Color and this balance between the conscious and subconscious has always been a primary expressive device in my work. The “accidents” are often more successful and meaningful than any calculated composition. For me, the creative challenge is identifying the potential beauty of the unexpected and embracing it early in the artistic process.
My resulting imagery emerges from the canvas. The content exists in formal properties and inherently in the forms themselves. The objects in my paintings such as vessels, plant and animal forms, ladders and circles are personally and culturally symbolic, stemming from a variety of conceptual and visual sources including growth, molecular biology and the natural world in general. Each painting represents a related concept and my attempt to reconcile my often conflicting feelings towards it. Installed uniformly in a group or placed intermittently along a wall, the paintings form sentences and engage in conversations about the visual and philosophical relationships between science, nature and childhood.