About My Art
Two things about my art: it should speak for itself; yet somehow make room for the viewer’s own personal thoughts and feelings. At its best art is a conversation in a visual language.
I’m interested in a lot of things and I experiment with materials. For me, the piece itself dictates what I use to make it. The process begins with a need to say something. While the idea is forming in my head of what I want to say, what I need to make the work—wax, foam, wood, paper, found objects, old photographs, film footage—comes at the same time.
Because of this experiential, intuitive approach my first efforts (sometimes representing weeks of work) can be a bit awkward or messy or both. Using the trial and error method has its advantages, but after struggling a bit I often begin to wonder if my ability to make the thing or things is up to the task.
With such an experimental approach I’ve found an artistic medium that suits me very well: encaustic. Encaustic is a beeswax-based paint containing beeswax, resin for hardness and pigment for color. It can be used to make prints, paintings and sculpture and is especially useful for mixing with other media such as charcoal, graphite, oil paint, collage elements and natural materials. It can be carved, made smooth as glass, roughened for texture or any combination of the above. I like to use deeply cradled birch panels for painting because of the sculptural feeling you get when they are hung on a wall. I don’t frame them and allow the natural wood to show on the thick sides. I also love to work on etching paper, which is 75% cotton rag and has a lovely “tooth.” I work on the paper with inks and other mark-making materials before I use the paper to print using encaustic paint melted on a warm surface. Encaustic interacts with other materials in interesting and unpredictable ways.