My work is a culmination of years of observing textures and rhythms in nature- the stark contrast of bare branches against a winter sky, the gentle swirls and undulations of clouds, the overlapping textures of autumn leaves- these have always intrigued me. In my work I investigate these interests further through layering of paper and paint- and in my latest efforts, through incorporation of materials such as hand marbled paper and tree branches. My earlier studies as a textile major at Virginia Commonwealth University instilled a desire in me to explore surface details and deeper energies in my work.
Gustav Klimt is a major inspiration to me. His ecstatic, prolific use of geometric designs and metallic paints in conjunction with beautifully articulated subjects is both decadent and emotionally jarring. When one views his works, there is so much more to see than just the initial image, his works are always changing for me, a new emotional reaction with each encounter. The illustrator Arthur Rackham has also influenced me. His whimsical portrayals of figures draw the viewer in, revealing new clues and meanings with each successive viewing. To see something new each time you encounter a work is important to me. I feel it reflects one’s own personal growth that although something has remained unchanged, it offers new insight as time goes by. I grew up with Arthur Rackham- my grandmother had personally signed first editions that have become honored possessions of mine. I treasure these works and love slowly paging through them. Anyone who has seen the “Lord of the Rings” movies would recognize the influence of Rackham on the Ents (walking, talking trees).
I began my recent course of development after viewing a Roland Flexner exhibition in New York. He worked with suminagashi and India inks, marbling and creating images as ink bubbles popped on the paper. When I returned home, I began experimenting with marbling rice paper. I use suminagashi ink because it floats on the water, no need for sizing or other ingredients used in traditional marbling. The rice paper is thin, lending itself easily to layering and collage. The marbled paper elements add organic details to my work that are beyond my control, leading to happy accidents from which to build. I have very recently experimented with adding fine glitter to the marbling technique; I cannot resist shiny elements. The tension created by the juxtaposition of the swirled, gentle marbled effects with the deliberate structured ink and marker embellishments further exploits the layered elements of the work.