Sometimes, while looking closely at a work of art, I have experienced a sudden shift.
It happened for the first time when I was 5, on a visit to my grandfather’s studio. As I climbed the stairs toward the open door, I saw a beautiful young man smiling at me. I didn’t realize at first that I was looking at a painting. I didn’t know that the young man had died years before. I was overtaken by his gentle, living presence.
Many masterpieces have moved me deeply, but that first experience is unique.
It showed me what a painting could be and do. As I took it in, and as I experienced an intense connection to the man in the portrait, my life shifted toward art. I wanted to be drawn out of my small self into that bigger reality.
Since then, I have pursued art as a viewer and a maker.
Great museums are my idea of heaven. I have travelled far to see masterful works of art in person. In developing my own work, I have explored a variety of media and tools, including oil, watercolor, pastel, silverpoint, graphite and various kinds of printmaking.
I prefer traditional materials.
It delights me that many artists of the past would recognize my tools. My artistic lineage includes Dutch and Italian masters, women artists of all periods, and contemporary and historic American artists.
I improve my technique with study and practice. My creativity, on the other hand, depends on my ability to play.
Creativity happens when I stay open to all possibilities. Play takes me beyond my known world. It opens a space for whatever knowledge, notion, hint, illogic or intuition is ready to pop up. Then I can discover the strange, enchanting qualities of objects, and the puzzling surprises that lurk within ordinary situations.
My work succeeds when it points to something that was, until now, unfelt and unseen.
I want my work to shift the viewer’s world, just as that first painting shifted mine. Artists have enriched my life in more ways than I can count. I make art to pass it on.