Artist’s Statement for COMMUNITY REFLECTIONS at the TKLofts
The exhibit COMMUNITY REFLECTIONS involves some hard truths. Residents of the Tashiro Kaplan lofts are part of a wider urban community; they see and experience the consequences of poverty & pain in the street every day. The harsh reality of homelessness and drug addiction is far more visible in Pioneer Square than it is in my comfortable community, but violence and suffering are here too. How can members of this community experience the danger, feel the fear, see the pain, and remain open to the humanity in everyone? My work is about trying to make sense of this chaos in our world. I am learning to use light and translucency to extend the depth of my work. This may represent the light we need to shine into the shadows of our difficult interactions with other human beings.
I make art to satisfy myself, and to share my experiences. Art is self expression: a visual journal of my experiences and emotions. At times I want to communicate the sense of mystery and delight I feel when I look around at natural and man made objects. At other times I may express the angst & pain I observe around me, or experience in my own life.
I am a mixed media artist with a particular interest in printmaking, drawing, and sculpture. I use pencil, water soluble graphite, charcoal, colored pencil, pastels, Conté crayon, ink, paint, along with found objects, silk threads, cheesecloth, beeswax, driftwood, and more. I save and use my own work as elements in both physical and digital collage; I use a computer, scanner and archival ink jet printer as artists tools to modify and create new images. I especially enjoy the layering and combining intrinsic to print making and collage. As I work, I draw upon a backlog of my own drawings and prints: I may incorporate or transform older work in new projects.
I don’t start with a detailed plan, rather I explore an idea & appreciate the element of surprise. At some point a plan “happens” and I find myself working toward a finished piece. I love to improvise (think Jazz). I try to balance a need for control, which requires technical skill and practice, with a sense of play and exploration. Despite an emphasis on play, I take my explorations seriously. I am not interested in following techniques and trends in the art world, however I love to see the work of other artists and to explore new techniques. It is a delight when I encounter a technique that will help me express my own visual “thoughts”.
My grandfather was a painter and I liked to draw as a child, but disliked art classes did less drawing. I abandoned a college art major for computer science. “Making things” still happened, but only as a weekend hobby until I moved to Port Townsend in 1998. Making art became important and satisfying daily work, and I have an art studio next door to my home. I surround it with assemblies of found objects and odd creations: my yard art.
I have benefited from regional art classes as well as painting and sculpture classes in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. I participate in a weekly art seminar that has fed the artist in me for many years. I am a member of Corvidae Press, a fine art printmaking guild, and participate in our annual print exchanges. For four years I have participated in the Brooklyn Art Library Sketchbook Project. I enter work in regional juried art shows, when the wind is right!