Art has always been part of my life. From lino block printing on my kitchen table in high school, to doing encaustic paintings in my basement in my 40’s and taking watercolor weekend workshops in my 50’s, art has always been hovering and quietly talking to me. My art has often been described as “nostalgic” and “forlorn.” From my body of work, I realize that the heartbeat and history come from my unmoored formative years. I had a difficult childhood which included living in foster care in my teens and “reaching out” for relationships and guidance. At 18 years of age, I found myself without a place to live and never intended to go to college. My best friend’s father picked me up one Saturday morning to take the SAT, which led to college at Michigan State University and, eventually, to Harvard Business School. During these years, art was always on my mind. Presently, and finally, I am working towards my MFA at Lesley University College of Art + Design.
In addition to the nostalgia present in my work, there is also tension due, I think, to being exposed to a lot of stress in childhood. Like most artists, I find myself reaching back into my history and memory for art subject matter. I want my work to conjure up memorable moments in life that can trigger a feeling and capture that moment for the viewer. It is striking and humbling to me that I can make something that came from within me, and then touches someone else in a completely different way. I have discovered that there is a thin line between being “sweet and nostalgic” and providing tension, which is the difference between art and simple crafts.
A few years ago, I was experimenting with encaustic painting because it projects a dreamy and nostalgic feeling. However, it just wasn't the right thing for me. Two years ago, I “hit on” etching, and it has become my real calling. I was using photopolymer plates, which led to bringing photography into the etching medium. The photopolymer was almost too bombastic, strong, literal. The next step was introducing chine collé, and that's when things really started to work for me. I use the literal photograph, but the chine collé completes the “otherworldly” feeling I am after.
I’m greatly inspired by Jim O'Raw because his silkscreens have a distinct style that gives a feeling of over-developed, washed-out photos, giving his work a mysterious, historical flavor. I’m also a fan of Jaco Putker. His etchings with photopolymer are fantastical and hearken back to earlier times (with some absurdity thrown in).