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Two decades ago I sat down on the floor and began combining bits of paper into a collage. It was my attempt to help quell a big “What about me?” beef with the universe.
I’d always been creative: quick to dance since childhood; eager to sketch the faces in my mother’s 25 cent hairdo booklet; and drawn to my father’s camera so I could interact with the rich patterns and textures around me.
But this collage was different. This had such intention behind it. This was ceremony. This was prayer. Many years would pass before I would come to fully understand that this was, in fact, self-ordination.
With that woeful collage completed, a collage of gratitude seamlessly followed. I thought I was done. My hands kept moving. So much color, light, texture, so many possibilities... I created many more collages and through this body of work I found my mentor, Chuck Morey. He embraced my work and vision. In time he suggested I try painting, then invited me to his studio and introduced me to acrylics – a great kindness I will forever be thankful for. It was here, with the heart of a kindergartner, that I began to piece together my foundation in the medium.
Further down the road, I came across an intriguing course description for a life drawing class and immediately signed up. Here I met my teacher Rosalind Gordon. With her boundless enthusiasm, insight and wit I found myself repeatedly immersed in the spontaneity of quick sketches and gestural drawing. The door to the right side of my brain flew open and Rosalind promptly kicked me right through it. For this I shall be eternally grateful.
From this point on I understood what “process” was and that something seismic had broken ground within me. It was here to stay. My responsibility was to let it thrive. I honor the wisdom and generosity of my mentors with ongoing exploration. Over the years my work has been exhibited at numerous Berkshire venues.
When I raise my brush or palette knife to the surface of the canvas, I begin a heartfelt exploration into the following: How close can I get to that point where the impulse to control ceases? And, if it is possible to suspend all striving, then what does that feel like? The steady, intangible pull of this questioning spawns my creativity and sustains my spirit.
To honor the mystery, I never plan or sketch in advance. I extend my trust to the unknown and begin to move with what unfolds before me. The sudden awakening of two colors as they interact with each other or the drama revealed in the hard edge of a quick brush stroke can only arise when I take myself out of the driver’s seat. It is not an easy path. But each stumble and detour can unexpectedly shed light onto something new, or help reveal a truth that I’ve never really forgotten.
I work with acrylics as this gives me the most freedom and flexibility for experimentation.
I gravitate toward narrow, vertical canvases as I feel a deep connection with this timeless form. Like my own flesh and bones, it is rooted in the earth and presses skyward. Like my enduring presence, it too carries a weathered story that still echoes in monoliths, temple columns, and ancient scrolls. I feel at home with this strange familiarity. As I move paint across each canvas, I am further reassuringly woven into the lineage of all those who came seeking before me.
My process is meditative. My paintings, like labyrinths, offer the viewer a visual journey across sacred ground-an invitation to simply stop and rest, and enough space to sense the real tick of the universe.
"Congratulations! Gorgeous gallery, gorgeous work. Kudos!"