Beauty in nature and art fascinates me and I exploit it in my work. At the same time I recognize that the underbelly of beauty is sometimes frightening and grotesque. I find the contradiction profound and intriguing, especially in its relationship to human behavior and how we perceive and treat nature. Over the last several years, my paintings have dealt with lush representations of nature, fertility, and sensuality, however, I’m also interested in environmental issues and how our thirst for fossil fuels affects our landscape and our natural resources.
In recent years I’ve been making “cut-edge” paintings; the latest ones comprise many panels that overlap one another to create an illusion of things coming forward and going back in space, and the viewer is not always certain which is which. The overlapping panels also allude to the complexity of our human relationship with nature. To reflect this concept more directly, my newest paintings’ subjects and surfaces are less ornate and simplified, and the surfaces are physically split, with laser-cut forms that mimic tree branches. This creates a physicality and metaphorical sound like the poetic violence of an iceberg cracking. As we become even more aware of the precarious nature of our habitat, the new work speaks to the vulnerability of the surface that we so easily take for granted.
The cut-edge paintings are made on ¼-inch panels. I design the patterns on the computer and then have the panels professionally laser cut. Back in the studio, I layer the panels on top of one another, sometimes cutting them up and making smaller panels, to create one whole painting. When the surface format is complete, I then begin the painting process. The cut edges, layered panels, and shadows expand the subject matter and meaning of the paintings by creating a formal chaos made beautiful.
To see a full list of exhibits, education, etc., please download my résumé.