Artist Statement

The Red Place, 5×7; Acrylic ink and graphite on paper

My work is about communicating the human experience in the abstract language of color and form.  I work in oil, water color, acrylic ink and graphite on paper and canvas.

I like drawing as it feels more immediate when combined with saturated color and gestural lines. My goal is to create art that evokes memory, the elements, light and organic shapes.

My first memories are of the red of the blazing sun, the elegant, mysterious black of the ocean at night, the grey kiss of the morning fog and the infinite white of overcast skies. These colors imprinted on me and called me their own.

In my current work, I reconnect with these colors and apply them to shapes and lines that are influenced by the memories of the objects, landscapes and atmosphere I encountered growing up on the shores of southern Virginia.

I start a piece by closing my eyes and being still until I feel the drawing inside me. Then I draw with my eyes closed using a light pencil or pen on a smooth thick vellum paper. The process is a meditation. Once I have the initial drawing down, I then play with the forms until a picture emerges that speaks to me. It’s a conversation now as it tells me what colors will amplify its voice. Then I block in the major shapes with red and/or black acrylic ink. I take the most time adding the grey shadowy values using an oil-based graphite. It that has a creamy richness when applied in several layers from light to dark which allows me to reach a sense of depth and atmosphere that places it in a space of its own.

I know a work is done when the colors and forms feel fully integrated into a composition. The red and black create a dynamic tension that vibrates in my vision and brings attention to the organic shapes, shadowy space and flowing lines. The piece feels set in motion and seduces the eye to move around and explore.

While I create this work from a personal place, it’s now an entity to be considered on its own. When people see my work, they can enter the piece through the titles and composition that are my original intention. However, they can also bring their own associations with color and form and have an experience unique to them. That is when my art goes from personal to universal and satisfies my original mission of becoming an artist – to connect with humanity on a level beyond words.