I paint in oils on canvas, draw with pastels and colored pencils on amate (bark paper) and create anthropomorphic and zoomorphic sculpture from recycled materials.
I work intuitively in all my chosen media. My paintings, which are a totally right-brain function, evolve from a tangle of brushmarks, spills and splatters, randomly applied to the stretched canvas, obliterating the oppressive whitespace. I spend a lot of time viewing this grid from a distance, like staring at clouds or tree branches. Creatures emerge, morph, vanish and reappear. I try to hold on to the strongest ones and rough them in. I develop the cast of characters by glazing in thin coats of oil and medium, ultimately creating a luminous surface. My paintings go through so many changes and take a very long time to finish, but the feeling is wonderful. It’s a trance-like state which usually comes on after a couple of hours of work, when the moral censor turns off and I enter the canvas — another world where I work feverishly. I have no sense of time, temperature or place. I am “through the looking glass.” Everything flows.
With sculpture, form determines function. A new object arrives and sparks an idea of what it will become, joined with materials that may have been lying around the studio for years. I love dismantling machines and finding the treasures within — the interior landscape. I don’t sketch, but instead lay out the objects on the floor, adding and deleting until the piece evolves. Often the outcome is markedly different from what I had roughly envisioned. Since my sculpture is entirely self-taught, I still have the thrill of new challenges in construction. I do not weld, as I work largely with wooden foundry patterns and circuit boards. Instead, I use a variety of screws, hinges and other joining devices. Glue is used only when absolutely necessary — I hate the stuff! I enjoy the mechanical challenge of building the piece and doing electrical wiring. I am present and grounded. My left brain gets a good workout!
Drawing is somewhere between painting and sculpture. As with painting, I go into a meditative space but remain conscious of my environment. While it takes some time to re-enter the drawing each day, the process is faster than with painting, but not so immediate as the sculpture which engages instantly. Instead of making marks on the amate bark, I find the forms within the texture of the bark and pull them out, carving the space with my pencil. While my paintings are quite large, these intimate works are miniatures, seldom measuring more than 6” x 8”. I love working on them. They are little dreams or haikus dancing in the realm of the psyche.
All three disciplines, i.e. painting, sculpture and drawing, are exciting areas in which to work. There is never any down time — no blockage. The only problem is finding the time to do it all.