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l love collage - it’s my primary medium. I create my own distinctive collage materials and search for innovative ways to express a range of different subjects, both abstract and figurative.
I love the excitement that comes with the collage process: the chance placement of elements and the accidental discoveries that lead me to explore new visual ideas. I enjoy the balance I can achieve between spontaneity and control, the organic and the geometric, between my emotional and my intellectual responses.
My inspiration comes from many sources. I have created series about my travels, fish, nature, rainbows, grids, stripes, US Presidents, and about the objects and ephemera I collect.
My "Organic Grid" and "Color Grid-Revisions" series are composed using alcohol ink infused papers (see alcohol ink techniques below). The flowing forms created are integrated within a geometric grid format.
I also combine the alcohol inks with my digital photos for collages in my "Stones of Resonance" series: China and Jerusalem are abstracted imaginary landscapes — Prague, Berlin and Tibet are more realistic photo-based compositions.
I investigate the blurry line between collecting and hoarding by including actual objects in a series of assemblages titled "Cautionary Tales."
I have found great therapeutic value in creating art about my knee surgery and my experience with Bell's Palsy through two series called "My Left Knee" and "My Left Face."
In my "Presidential Manipulations" series I created satiric (except for Obama) depictions of six American Presidents and often invited viewers to 'please touch' and participate by rearranging the faces of these public figures using Velcro backed FaceParts.
Over the last ten years, I have also been exploring STRIPES. To date, I have created over 100 compositions just about stripes in ongoing 2-D and 3-D series. My collage materials include details from photographs I take of people wearing striped clothing. Seeking more and more stripes for my art, I’ll photograph anyone I see wearing stripes, getting as close as they allow. I print out sections of the striped images on acid-free photo paper and often combine them with Asian papers and my unique poured alcohol ink papers. I am fascinated by how the rigid patterns of parallel lines can appear organic and sensuous when seen on the human body.
Recently I have extended striped patterns I see in nature. I am working with images of my house plants and have branched out to the trees I see from the windows of my fifth floor studio.
The unique papers, my major source for collage material, are the result of an original technique I've developed over many years. My art originates with the spontaneous and largely uncontrollable act of pouring and splashing alcohol-based inks onto absorbent, unsized etching paper (Copperplate Deluxe).
I begin this process by clipping the four corners of the paper (42 x 30 inches) to a cradle-like device hung by chains and a swivel from my studio ceiling. The paper is suspended horizontally leaving my hands free to pour the inks (pigments dissolved in alcohol) and resists (water and/or gesso) onto the top surface of the paper while moving and tilting it. The inks saturate the paper at different rates, emerging on the paper's underside as unpredictably blended colors, textures and abstract shapes.
I compose my collages intuitively, piece by piece, cutting and tearing from a 35-year collection of these papers, some still whole, many just scraps of different sizes. I never throw anything out, assuming that each remnant might be perfect in some future artwork. I use either the "poured side" showing the ink sediment mixed with resists or the "smooth side" showing vibrant and subtle veils of color, transparency and opacity, and what appears to be soft or sharp focus.