I am compelled to combine my training, imagination, education and knowledge onto the canvas.
After forty-five years in photography I have learned one thing to be true. There are more reasons to photograph than I would ever attempt to list.
My photographs are simply visual statements that might otherwise go unexpressed. They may be cultural, political, allegorical, informational, symbolic, ironic, universal, personal or contain part and parcel of all. A photograph will always be an observation, a thin slice of time, serving as a reminder of a question illuminated by the play of light across reality.
As an artist, I utilize color and contrast to evoke emotions while provoking thought both visually and conceptually. I determine color and aesthetics intuitively. The journey from my mind's eye to the soul's window could describe my process. I establish an idea and create an edge or an angle that perhaps the viewer may not have considered. Is important to me that the viewer's emotional response is enhanced and that one may find through observance of the piece, an alternative way of understanding the subject matter.
I see my paintings as a means of trying to capture scenes and people that resonate within me and to present them in as artistic and meaningful manner as possible. I am an avid traveler and many of my subjects are derived from these trips. I would have loved to have been around when the Impressionists were emerging, but then on second thought, I'm just glad to be here now.
Working primarily in oils, the themes of my work stem from reality, and are often presented as still lives, landscapes and figures. Color, texture and pattern are my subject matter. Once the paint begins to cover the canvas, the painting takes on a life of its own becoming an abstraction of reality through brushwork, the softening of edges, and the layering and mixing of color. My focus is the world within the four corners of the canvas.
I take an innate, raw desire to create and channel it into color and form. My mind moves from one visual to another melding colors, shapes and forms. I stand before the easel daily because I want to improve my craft. I want to know what would happen if I tried a different method, scraped the canvas, added blue rather than red. The result is an abundance of works that invariably demonstrate a colorist approach to my palette, while my forms range from loose to substantially real.
Time is the only thing that is mine. I am granted more for only 24 hours.
How I choose to use it defines who I am.
I create. In reality on some days and in my mind on others.
My camera is an archaic looking wooden box with a bellows and an original 1872 brass barrel lens. The optical quality of that lens is amazing, creating sharp points of focus as well as peripheral out-of-focus areas that are atmospheric and appear to swirl. In my portraits, I want to move beyond surface appearances to more genuine facets of each person’s personality and interests. Stillness and quiet reflection are invited. Because my work is grounded in the early history of photography, it invites a dialogue between past and present, ancient and modern.
Art is not always just about creative expression. Like all things in life it is dictated and affected by the constraints of time and space, quite literally.
Over the years I have learned to utilize whatever time is available- a day, an hour, fifteen minutes. I have come to learn that it is only not in the physical act that real creation happens; it is the combination of thought and act and the application of what the mind has been mulling that makes art.
I find that my expression goes in and out of being easily identified by specific objects or only a reference, a non-specific narrative.
Through this entropic process the images shift; they are chairs, they are figures, clearly and not so clearly. They dance, they sit, they wait.
Regardless of subject matter, painting remains for me a manipulation between the planned and accidental, between the order of my mind and the restlessness of my spirit. Occasionally, a somewhat tumultuous harmony occurs that sounds the echo of an inspiring discovery. The magic of these short lived moments has kept me loading my brushes with color for 20 years.
In 1974 I became enamored by photography when that first image appeared mysteriously in the developer tray... Even though that technology has changed, the thrill of capturing and "developing" an image has stayed strong through the years.
Visual interpretations of my surroundings have been essential elements of communication throughout my life. I often watch interactions among people, appreciate the forms created by nature or study the light as it moves through the day. These observations were first recorded through drawing, which quickly led to painting and then sculpture. However, photography has received the majority of my time and efforts.
I work in many different processes of photography: silver gelatin (black and white), hand tinting, cyanotype, ammonium dichromate, Polaroid transfer, and digital photography. Much of my time has been invested in making art, which has afforded me the confidence to trust my instincts. With sensitivity to light and texture, my work appreciates the classic and respects the contemporary in both process and subject matter. The images I produce document moments in time, with a cross between fine art and photojournalistic perspectives.
Since childhood, I have worked with wood in various ways, building things and refinishing furniture at my father’s upholstery shop. He taught me how to do chair caning. In my early thirties I found myself living in a small apartment in a new city where, for the first time, I had no access to a workshop. I became desperate for something to make. I tried drawing, writing, cross-stitch, sewing, but nothing was satisfactory.
Then a weaver friend of mine gave me a couple of little books with basket patterns in them. Only a few hand tools were required and no workshop was needed. I made a couple of baskets and I became obsessed.
For the first few years, my materials were limited to dyed rattan and sea grass. I worked to find ways to make each basket unique. I got access to a wood shop and began to make baskets with wooden bases, then later with wooden rims and rings.
The characteristics of the wood inspire the form of the basket. The basket’s rim and base will usually come from the same log. I love taking rescued firewood and transforming it into art.
I do not draw or write down the patterns in advance, but have a clear picture in my mind how each piece might turn out. For me, each piece I make is a sketch for the next piece and the patterns evolve over time.
Sometimes I will repeat a particular pattern or construction, but no two works are ever quite alike.
"I am an artist in spite of myself."
(b.1929 - d.2013)
I create iconic altar boxes using found objects and mixed media. While my work first began as my observation and reaction to the overwhelming religious influence in the South, it has evolved into an acceptance of living in the buckle of the Bible Belt.
These contemporary altarpieces mimic the symbolism of ancient works with recreated objects that may be both old and new. I wish to provoke personal reflection by replacing the central object of worship with signage provided by the local church authority. The signs are real images I have observed and photographed in my travels.
The found objects are designed to work as symbolic imagery comparable to the purposeful use of symbols in ancient icons. These objects are the result of a life-long need to collect, store, and display. As my collections grow through rummaging through local flea markets, estate sales, curios shops, and bestowment, I find recycling these objects works in harmony with the desire to process and move away from the past.
During my time in Greenville, SC, I have learned that these signs are part of our cultural landscape and can be found in any corner of America. These altar boxes reflect not only my interpretation of the message, but also America – home of the ‘kitsch’.
My work is meant to be humorous, clever, kindhearted, satirical, and unconventional which all reflects me as a person. It is my nature to challenge traditional views, create stimulating conversations about art, and to adapt to new places and faces.