As a native of Baltimore, I had studied painting at the Maryland Institute of Art, The Towson Fine Art School, Harford Community College and over the years, continued my studies with a variety of professional artists and instructors.
My early paintings were traditional realism rendered in oils but eventually I chose to explore the possibilities of watercolor and began exhibiting my work professionally in 1984. During this period I gained acceptance into many juried competitions and had… more
As I continue to interpret my natural surroundings, my work reflects my interest in creating dynamic movement and energy through a combination of strong design, texture and abstraction
Being true to my muse, I decided to make a sculpture using natural materials such as driftwood, leaves and vines (cut before spring bloom). This decision turned into quite the time consuming, learn-as-you-go project. I made armatures from wire, paper clay and plaster cloth and imbedded bird images made of painted self-hardening bone ware. The dried leaves prooved to be too brittle to cover the bra cups so I hand colored various thin papers and attached them instead. As the piece got heavier, I added a metal support band around the inner perimeter and covered it with plaster cloth and handmade bark paper. I then made an armature that would allow the "bra" and its driftwood base to hang flat on the wall.
I was happy with the results and have a much greater appreciation for sculptors than ever.
My concerns about the environment have been a catalyst for my paintings for the last ten years.
In 2014, I began painting in encaustic and was fascinated with the fluidity, luminosity and tactile qualities of this new medium. It has allowed me to continue to explore the tentative nature of our inner and outer landscapes. My approach has been not to reproduce objects and their environments realistically but to paint a response to the emotional reaction they invoke.
For example, in the winter painting, "Winter's Heart #2", I was responding to "repairs" (rather than restoration) made by the City that abraded a gravel road and trails, leaving a litter of tree roots and debris and mud. The tree roots were added to my painting as well as a painted bird image, that to me, is a metaphorical harbinger of beneficial or harmful events.
On a lighter note, the summer paintings are what they are. Colors; a response to brilliant blooming colors and new beginnings.
Including the conveyance of water in this series of paintings was the catalyst for exploring a vivid palette of colors to express how I feel as I experience my surroundings.
STICKS and STONES
On my daily walks I am always awed in some way by the abundance of natural beauty that I am blessed to encounter. Early this Fall I began taking longer hikes on some of the steeper slopes that border the reservoir near my home. While enjoying the incredible colors, light and air, I became particularly fascinated by the enchanting Mountain Laurels that populate this area. Their limbs so beautifully twisted into bonsai-like shapes from being in the under story and facing the bitter northwest winds at the top of the peak. Though some had yielded to last years extreme weather I could not resist their beauty and brought several branches back to my home. This is not unusual as I often bring sticks, branches, stones and seeds to my studio for contemplation and inspiration. I also have an intense appreciation and respect for birds and have included their images in many of my past and current works so when I encounter a dead bird I will immediately make a detailed drawing. A nest, an egg and feathers will be collected for future reference as well. I find that things dying, dead, abandoned, still and seemingly unimportant are actually full of life and meaning in their pursuit to another purpose.
Sometimes these often symbolic natural images will appear spontaneously in my work among the organic shapes, lines and colors. At other times I am more consciously aware of how these forms may add an inner resonance to the paintings of this continuing visual journey.