Artist Statement

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

One of my favorite childhood memories is waking up the morning after my mother’s night school painting class and running to see what she had created while I slept. The appearance of colorful images and shapes on a canvas which had previously been plain white struck me as magical and mysterious. Today, the creative process remains just as magical and mysterious to me.

As a shy, introverted teen, I embraced painting as a form of self-expression that didn’t require me to talk to people! These days, I’m more interested in avoiding my own mental conversations while painting. As I stand before a blank canvas, I take the time to quiet my mind, release my expectations, and open my heart to infinite possibilities. I pick up a brush and quickly cover the canvas with broad strokes and washes of muted colors. I know that nothing is permanent at this stage. I continually add and remove colors, lines, and shapes while creating visually interesting layers. As i paint, I enter the ever-changing stream of experience while simultaneously striving to express the fluidity of experience.

When painting landscapes, I sometimes use photos or pieces of photos for inspiration. Other times, memories of natural settings or imagined scenes are my starting point. I’m drawn to “messy” landscapes – tangled branches, underbrush, overlapping hills, shifting light – that mirror life’s intertwined challenges and beauty. I don’t try to render a scene in a realistic way. Instead, I allow the energy and mood of the scene to mix with my own emotions and experiences. A loose, painterly style and expressive brushwork help me express nature’s vibrancy and “aliveness.”

I like to alternate painting landscapes and intimate flower portraits. When the outside world feels too big and overwhelming, it’s comforting to narrow my focus and paint a more intimate subject. Even as I attempt to take refuge in the beauty of a single flower, I am reminded to release preconceived ideas and surrender to the moment. I am compelled to look beyond the “pretty flower” and paint the changing stream of sensations, feeling and thoughts the flower evokes.

My focus shifts again when painting abstracts. I come fully into the present moment and allow the changing stream of experience to move through me. This is when I see most clearly how everything is constantly in flux, and I choose shapes, lines, and colors to express the truth of this awareness.

I hope my paintings remind you that this entire universe is made up of changing, moving energies and that you are part of that dance.