My practice includes two major media: graphite/charcoal and encaustic/collage. Architectural forms are the basis for much of my work; geometric forms—particularly the quintessential square and rectangle—can be found throughout. This interest in geometric forms began early in my career. I am fascinated by the way the abstract form turns into objects that then become something new.
My drawings are of two types: sketchbook drawings and composite drawings. The sketchbook drawings are classic plein-air pieces. For the composite drawings, the initial plein-air observation becomes a platform for a new piece of work. I start with closely observed and traditional drawings, although I am not satisfied with singular landscape drawings in the customary sense (horizon, trees, buildings, etc.). The excitement comes with completely reworking each landscape into abstract images—the drawings change into something deeper and ultimately more engaging, as observed objects are layered on each other to create an essential vision of the landscape before me.
I work in the field by selecting the most compelling object to start with. I then pick out other objects in the field before me and reassemble and layer them: In the boatyard drawings, for instance, I start with one boat, isolated in the landscape, and begin to layer boats on top of boats, each carefully observed and merged into a newly constructed whole. The objective landscape before me is thus transformed to create my own vision of a boatyard. The intense observation I do is of individual objects, each of which may be still or calm, and I then combine them into an image that may initially seem busy and confusing and noisy—but I am feeling calm as I am doing them, choosing the relationships among the different objects I view.
The encaustic medium is used in most of my paintings. Despite the difficulties in using pigmented wax, I am drawn by the encaustic texture, color, and longevity.
I took a workshop in encaustic at R&F Handmade Paints, which helped me get started. I had read about encaustic and its ancient origins. This intrigued me; I also read Joanne Mattera’s The Art of Encaustic Painting, and was fascinated by the examples she used. The encaustic work of Jasper Johns has also inspired me.
When I began to do abstract pieces, I was able to improve and refine my use of encaustic, such as fusing the wax, layering (which harkens back to my drawings), and the use of the square.
In the course of my painting series Dreams, I found that the combination of encaustic and collage can create a dreamlike landscape that transcends everyday life.
In my newest work I am exploring a variety of new media: watercolor, acrylic, oil, pastel; they are generally combined with encaustic. Shapes have been reduced to basic geometric forms.
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May 17, 2022
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