Balancing Act”

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Abstract painting in the experimental sixties is my foundation.  Although my formal training at Skidmore College was guided by a more representational approach, I nevertheless spent time cutting up paint tubes and gluing them on the canvas to create urban landscapes.  It was not until many years later that I encountered artwork by Robert Rauschenburg, Antonio Tapies, Hannelore Barron, and Bill Traylor.  But by then I had given up the idea of painting as a profession.  Instead I entered the world of interior design, which I felt was similar to painting in that it was three-dimensionally working with color, texture, scale and proportion.

 

In the nineties I decided to return to school, and to resume formally my love of abstract painting.  I studied at the Corcoran under Bill Christenberry and then earned an MFA Degree in Painting and Printmaking at Rhode Island School of Design.  As a graduate student I was challenged by the idea that my voice was important to come through in the artwork. “You can paint, but what do you have to say?” was the mantra.

 

Painting is a self-absorbing endeavor, and to some extent one could say, a self-portrait. My paintings reflected the world around me that increasingly seemed divided between the “haves” and the “have-nots.”  It was the beginning of the homeless crisis in the U.S.  I collaged the found objects that had been discarded on the streets, and I photographed the palimpsest of graffiti on disintegrating facades of buildings.  To this present day I am consumed by current events depicting politics, society and the environment. The images of deterioration in the landscape from natural and man-made disasters also are the subject of my artwork

 

I am a storyteller.  I present the story in each painting in a semi-abstract format, using mixed media, text and texture to support the narrative.  While the canvas is like a megaphone for me, I choose to present the story in a more poetic format.  The Eastern philosophy of balancing opposites appeals to my aesthetic sensibility.  I work back and forth on my canvases from construction to deconstruction, adding my writing to partially erased thoughts, all the time planning, yet embracing spontaneity in the process.  I use the reality depicted in my own photographs, juxtaposing them with abstractions that develop from torn textures and the energy of my brushstrokes.  My process involves continual adding and editing, the story revealed and then partially veiled to engage in a “hide and seek dialogue” with the observer.