Life is filled with struggle and conflict, growth and change, challenges and pleasures. With each painting I may explore some aspect of these characteristics of human life, or simply the application of paint. Either way, at the foundation of each artwork is imagery emanating from important daily activities. By breaking down representation, I delve into imagery that is unrecognizable yet can still resonate with us in a familiar way.
This material ensures an under layer of meaning, before I begin to respond to the cues which present themselves during the painting process. I consciously give my attention to life sustaining, ritualized domestic acts instead of to commercial and commodified activities.
I have always been drawn to pure abstract imagery, but in my own work, content is important. For many years, I did not possess the knowledge to develop and share content in artwork, choosing instead to express myself creatively in design and craft. The abstract imagery I have developed is strongly linked to sensory experiences, past and present. At their core is the importance of savoring time spent in life sustaining action.
I begin my current work with images traced and copied from my own documentary photographs of domestic ritual. Sometimes tedious chores executed daily and weekly, these acts are the basis for supporting life. They provide care for my family and me, and can be undertaken with a mindfulness of their importance, but also a create a kind of meditative space. In this body of work, the underlying source images emanate from food preparation and clothing maintenance and storage. The resulting lines are imposed on a painted ground endowing each panel with meaning before the content of each particular painting is developed.
A deep familiarity with fabric and the shapes it creates when folded and draped forms a great part of my visual knowledge. This information, going back to childhood, is ingrained in my memory. I have no desire to render clothing representationally; rather, I am drawn to the shapes resulting from fabrics folded, hung, or piled, or the childhood memory of the unexpected shapes in an open closet after dark.
The frequent action of preparing fresh produce for meals, and its requisite chopping has created another source of imagery for my work. I am drawn to the fascinating complexity of shapes created by my chef’s knife creating straight lines and edges among the curved organic ones.
The lines and shapes resulting from these acts, imposed on my panels, provide me with the basis to explore painting technique as well as life’s travails.