2019

 

My work has always had an organic, visceral aspect which I consider to be part of my concern with life issues, like vulnerability, passion, and the uncanny. Drawing in notebooks is my lifeline to my work. I keep one handy at all times and my hand goes where it wants in these visual journals. After I complete one, I reconnoiter, selecting and tearing out what might be used for inspiration. In the summer of 2018, I found that I was drawing heads and faces in my notebooks. I wondered how far the features could be distorted or moved around and still "read" as a face. I remembered that Philip Guston, at a turning point in his work, made a series of small painted sketches that he considered his "alphabet" his vocabulary. The photograph of his efforts has always moved me because they are so direct, without sentiment. Guston realized that a lifetime of devotion to art requires the occasional jolt to one's satisfaction. Like a long relationship, it needs refreshment and redefinition, all the while staying true to the basic alphabet. Guston used his basic vocabulary as the inspiration for his new work. I sensed that I was not taking as great a leap but embraced the exercise anyway.

 

Here's what I did:

 

I culled 20 intriguing face/head sketches from my notebooks and transferred them to sheets of medium-sized Fabriano paper, using black ink and brush. Then I placed bright, colorful, geometric forms behind the faces to gave a feeling of space behind them. Part of my practice, in the last few years, has been to photograph my work with objects from the studio in the foreground. Manipulation of the light source and shadows furthers a process of refinement and integration resulting in a photograph that can be seen as the final "artifact" of the process. One phase of the process involved masking areas of the paper to leave white paper. I used mylar to mask the white areas – and I noticed that it looked lovely as it fell to the floor. Sprayed areas of color trailed off softly and marks made by tape were bold. The discarded mylar, would become an integral part of my journey. I placed the scraps in front of the original art. The conceptual kick of plowing my materials back into the work added to the visual mystery of the partially obscured drawings. On the wall of my studio, I placed several drawings, arranging them with attention to their color so that a head might be turned on it's side. Pinning and taping the colored mylar used in spray painting in writhing, playful interaction with the color on the ink drawings, I made a collage on the wall. The mylar encircled, caressed, obscured and opened up to let the drawings show through, giving life to the big form emerging on the wall. Since then, I've gone back to painting on mylar with oil paint. Enchanted by the form and vibrance of flowers I'd grown in my garden in Maine, I'm painting large, sheer swaths of color over drawn images. The colors and mystery of the former work informs the new paintings.

 

2017

 

My concentration on two long narrative pieces this year led to a mixing of different imagistic languages. Structural, geometric form, abstract markings and figurative reality and fantasy blend in a sensual playing field.

 

The horizontal format and limited palette reference light moving over time, offering a foundation to my intuitive way of working.

 

This work suggests the paradoxical; sensitivity to deeply guarded inner stories coexists with a satiric playfulness, exploring the pathetic and the comic, echoed by the pastiche of styles and the unspecific storyline.

 

Several new sculptures maintain the use of found material while linear forms become three-dimensional drawings.

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