artist statement

The direction I take in my art reflects my interest in the ancient Japanese aesthetic philosophy, 'Wabi Sabi' - the appreciation of the modest and humble, the imperfect, the  incomplete, the transitory. Being drawn to the time-worn, weathered and used, I have come to realize, is my subconscious and growing reaction to a slick world of excess and waste.

I am fascinated by the contradiction of permanence and change. My paintings represent states that are timeless but always changing. 

My subject matter (rural and urban landscape) involves the search for patterns in details of rocks, water, roads, foliage. Photos, litter, stones, leaves etc. collected in my daily life help me reconstruct images that show evidence of everyday use and natural erosion. The appeal to me of this search is in the discovery of clues, the adding up of stories - a history of a place. Weathered layers express the opposing dynamic of building up and wearing away. The method that has evolved for me of applying paint, scraping off, reapplying, scratching, polishing, is deliberately like the process that caused the actual surface to reach its present state.

To compose my paintings I isolate small sections of land or water, cropped from and without reference to the larger landscape. Closing in on the abstract aspect of pattern and texture takes the focus away from the narrative of the subject matter to stress the intangible and universal force of the natural elements.

Zeroing in on detail implies the bigger picture. For years I have studied African textiles in which fractal geometry is often present in the design. Patterns have a close-up versus panoramic symmetry. Shapes have the property of self-similarity (part of the object resembles the whole), and the ever-diminishing scaling of shapes form an organic branching arrangement. Many of my paintings are map-like, suggesting the larger and larger view. A small detail of water or rock could be a pond, lake, sea, island, country, continent etc., all experiencing the same natural and human influences.