artist statement 2018 •

I am a contemporary painter focusing on environmental impact, endangered species and social equality issues.  I am interested in the social impact of art.  Art inspires, and cultivates innovation and science.  And, circuitously, science and innovation inspire art.  As we build our future it is essential that we design from a foundation where compassion, science, innovation and art intersect.  Why art? Our attraction to beauty is part of our humanity.  It connects us.  Beauty can restore dignity and hope.  Art has the power to unite.  When wielded well, art reaches inside, beyond words or explanations or cerebral data points. Inside, felt by the gut or the heart,beauty reaches beyond race or gender or socioeconomics or orientation or religion or politics.  From a visceral, emotional place, art inspires people to care. Only when people care, when they feel emotionally connected, are they compelled to question, to learn, to grow, to change, to take action.  And action—heartfelt, united, compassionate action—can change the world. 

This year I am swirling in a thematic, conceptual exploration of cour•age.  Is this the age of the heart?  When considering vast complexities of our environmental impact, endangered species and the intersectionality of social justice of this era it is critical that we navigate via our hearts.  Oh, and on this journey, we’ll need to source some bravery too.  I have children.  When I gaze toward an imagined future, clean my lenses and check my compass it reads: “Courage, Mama! Proceed bravely.  Proceed with heart.”

These days with a big, steamy cup of courage on my palette table and compass in hand, I stand at my easel and embark on a journey to explore beauty and loss and love and destruction and compassion and extinction and humanity and connection and racism and sexism and bravery and fear and brilliance and my own ugly stuff through graphite, paint, sweat and tears. When I paint an image of girls courageously persevering in pursuit of educations or recently extinct rhinos, endangered lions or elephants or dying bees, I paint in overlapping layers and dis•solving abstraction.  Greater truth is revealed in the layers of raw notes, scratches and sketches and imbedded letters, seed pods, articles or music.   Eventually all the pieces and “voices” are wrapped in organic patterns and layers of paint.  While the complex layers of beliefs and science and economics and culture are conceptual in my paintings, to be successful, communicative works of art, they must be visceral. 

I have been showing my paintings in galleries across the country for over a decade.  I am thrilled and ever grateful to have supportive, consistent representation. And I find myself thinking about a broad demographic of people who aren’t necessarily perusing the latest collections in art galleries.  People who may not have felt invited in to white walled retail spaces or thought about art other than as a decorative wall covering in colors matching their couch. They too must be inspired to proceed with courage.  Hello people! I want my work, my paintings, my voice slipped into the layers of theirunsuspecting lives too.  Beauty, compassion, awareness and hope need to be in the light, in the public consciousness, where people go to work, in hospitals and corporate environments, on billboards or bags or thank you notes...?  While my work, alone, may not inspire global compassion or move a collective consciousness, together we can.   We must each source enough courage to make our own brilliant, humane hearts heard.  Our future depends on it.  It always has.