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2011 Multiple Originals XVI


In my studio,  I usually think in terms of  mini-narratives and metaphors. The formal elements come later, after I begin to work on an image.Leaving specific information out helps make the images more open to the viewer. The finished image may not have the same associations or meanings for viewers, but it might.

Recently I've been venturing into Textille Art, using print processes on cotton rather than paper. This has been really fun, I'm interested to see how far I can go with it--
I was diagnosed with talent at an early age, and was always the artist of the family. I was proud of my draftsmanship, but as time went by, I realized that I couldn't take credit for my talent; it was a gift. What I do take credit for is the effort I have made through the years to master my craft, those areas of printmaking that I focus on: mezzotint, etching and linoleum. My preferred subject is the human face and figure.  I am fascinated by faces, and in trying to capture them I increase my understanding of what it means to be human.
My art is developed from a narrative fragmenting of images. My childhood was rich with colorful characters, steel magnolias and a confluence of mixed messages. The consequence of this is a creative ability to find humor in most things. My aesthetics reflect these poetic dichotomies: beauty with calculation, the bitter with the sweet, the humorous with the serious; the literary with the familiar; clandestine moments with collected observations. I enjoy the play of metamorphic connections with the subconscious and senses. Sexual entendre and duality of meanings are explored with symbolic and psychological innuendo. Images are juxtaposed, altered, and accessoried with a tongue-in-cheek attitude to form the focus of my work.

I am a printmaker living and working in Austin, Texas. My work is informed and inspired by the myth, culture, and traditional arts of the lands of my heritage: the American South and Eastern Europe.

I create fantastical characters and use them as a means to explore ideas of the bittersweet moments of human interaction.

I wrap these characters within worlds of magical realism that evoke a history and culture that could be found in folklore or fairytales, both of which are a big inspiration for me.

More recently I have been exploring ideas of memory and burden, and ideas of sin and redemption.

I am currently working on a series of eight 3 x 5 ½ foot hand-carved woodcuts titled "The Villagers: Carrying Things from Home.” I’m using these Villagers as a way to depict the intention and accountability of one’s actions and carrying the burden of those actions’ consequences. I am currently co-publishing the series with Flatbed Press in Austin, Texas.

Throughout my schooling and career, I have been interested in how the parts work together to create the whole. As a printmaker, the processes alone fulfill this constant need to build, whether assembling stencils or building onto plates. Combined with my imagery pulled from family traditions of quilting, I hope to create a body of work that inspires an appreciation of feminine and feminist representations in art and art-making.

My art is a struggle to communicate those things experienced in the isolation of our souls.

My experience creating hand-pulled woodblock prints spans over twenty years—a lot of time for the quiet meditation of carving and the splinters that go with it. I print without machinery, using palm gouges to carve and a simple wooden spoon as my press. I only make one print because in our times of material and media abundance only one is necessary. I work reductively, carving and printing in stages so that each block is reduced or destroyed as the image is produced and created. Each image remains singular, thus sacred, reflecting one experience in time.


The many contrasts inherent in these woodblock prints keep me engaged—the fast gestural line that is carved slowly, a random splash that takes hours to create, the raised rough wood becoming a dark smooth inked line, the obsessive pattern throughout providing both unity and noise.


Through my imagery I seek to obfuscate, deconstruct, reassemble and transform my everyday relationships with the shapes and patterns of the world. I seek images which deliberately set on edge the associations we bring to forms as our perceptual associations drive our entire way of thinking. I am not a symbolist nor a pure abstractionist: I use forms which might mean many things, have several names, or be both whimsical and terribly dark at the same time. The images serve as a metaphor between the visual impression of something and the conjuring of its name. Each image is an invitation to explore our ever-changing stream of perceptions and from that experience gain a type of wisdom for which there are no words.


October 31, 2011... I am about to edition the eighth image for my "White Flower Suite” which I began in February 2011.   The first four were included in "It’s in the Fine Print” exhibition at Brackenwood Gallery, Langley WA.   The flowers were from botanical watercolor studies that I have painted over the years.  Most were never completed and ended up in a drawer until I saw that I had quite a bit of useful information to use in etching!

I was introduced to printmaking in 1996. I was invited by Island International Artists, Anacortes WA to take an etching workshop taught by print artist, Richard Stauffacher.  I discovered that etching gives my work the look I’d been searching for; a medium that combines the precision of drawing, the transparency of watercolor and the richness of oil paint.  I love the process of printmaking and bought a press and set up my own print studio in 1998.


       Lately when I create art it is about getting out of my own head. Letting go of control over the world and planning every minute. It is a kind of meditation that allows my emotions to spill onto the page without being filtered, judged, and edited. I try to let my subconscious direct the process. I like to use organic materials I collect from my yard and on walks. I also use cut paper and found objects in my work. I love that what is essentially a weed can turn into something beautiful on the page and it has given me a new way of looking at the world around me. I have found that art helps me to be more intuitive, creative, and relaxed in all aspects of my life.

I strive for Magritte's basic intention, to make art with a "disturbing poetic effect."ť My work presents exotic subjects in the drama of black and white, or the subtle monochromatic tones of printers' inks. The prints are based on my photos of real places and slightly mysterious objects that are embraced by a post-apocalyptic anxiety, which induces a state of psychological unease in the viewer. The images raise questions, but knowing the back story doesn't necessarily provide comfort. The result is by turns intimate, earthy, fragile, universal, and contemporary. The images are full of the organic subtlety showing the naked beauty of weathered rock and plants, contrasted with man-made architectural elements. The organic elements complement the man-made. In purely aesthetic terms, the works use an interplay of tones and textures, with formal qualities of composition in the arrangements of objects under the viewer's gaze. The unfamiliar induces a state of ambiguity mixed with a strange longing or nostalgia. The camera captures temporal events, figurative and narrative, fragments in the cycle of life and death. History is revealed in multiple layers with an underlying order and inherent drama exposed in contrast and detail, painterly and sculptural at the same time.

I discovered printmaking relatively late in life when I took my first printmaking class in 2001. I like the process and the surprises inherent in printmaking. I am continually amazed that I am able to overcome the mess and the dirt that are part of printmaking, but I like the creativity the process brings about. 
I often use my own handmade paper for my printmaking, and I love how the unique characteristics of the paper influence the final print. I am also a gardener, and this is perhaps why I like to use images that appear in nature in my artwork (and in some ways my art is an extension of my gardening). 

I was living in New Mexico when a fortuitous requirement of printmaking coursework for my graduate program in art therapy led me to expression in another medium. Since that time I have been exploring printmaking and creating soft ethereal-like inspirational images. The circle or circular movement can often be seen in my artwork. The circle is a universal symbol with extensive meaning--a continuous symbol that has no beginning and no end. Throughout my life I have created circles, benefiting from the sense of comfort, peace, and total integration.

How I feel when I am making art is perfectly described in what Don Miguel Ruiz says: "When you are in your creation and you are doing what you love to do, you become what you really are again. You are not thinking in that moment; you are expressing.” I love being in that space where I am not really thinking, I am expressing what I am feeling inside. One could say that I make art to please the eye and touch the soul.

My art is a gift from my Father. I am blessed beyond measure. It is indeed a part of who I am.

Experimentation with various mediums and the manipulation of those mediums is a driving force which provides interesting puzzles in need of solving. When I am in that place...experimenting and trying to solve that puzzle...I am joy filled.

 
I also like to work in series. It is freedom giving. Some series never make it past the first in the series, but had their beginning with a series in mind. Series tend to allow for building. A new concept is not needed each time I approach a blank paper or canvas. There is already something their awaiting to be built upon.

My current body of work is based on diseased tissue of the heart, lung and liver tissues. I use this imagery to explore the negative and positive aspects of mutation at a cellular lever, and how it is both destructive and innovative. I break the imagery down into simple, formal, fundamental shapes to create cellular elements which become the tools of my drawing practice. With the development of electron microscopy, I imagine to possess the same filter when choosing the color and composition of my prints. I attach lighting elements to create the experience of looking though a microscope and to add life to the produced tissue samples. Depending on what emotion I want to represent, the imagery will either be a simple composition to emphasize the basic organic growth of life or a very chaotic scene to display stress and tension. I use repetition to give an identity to the cells and the importance of each one's placement.


Memory, location and nature, the inspirations 
Texture and pattern, the fascination
Printmaking, the adventure.
I have a fascination with nature and I love collecting seeds, bones, and oddities I find in the streets. These often inspire ideas along with images I dream. The evolution of those ideas through drawing and the solar intaglio printmaking process is challenging but exciting. Imagination plays a big part in the formation of images and I find it satisfying when it all comes together.
I'm fascinated with the printmaking process, especially the delightful surprises that come the first time a new plate is pulled. I gravitate towards the textural effects of collagraphs finding platemaking is only limited by one’s imagination. My work has been exhibited throughout the US but primarily in Texas, with a second solo show on the books for Chicago in 2015.

I view my work as a collaboration with nature. I make handmade paper with plant materials from my garden. My photographs are also mainly taken in my garden or on hikes. I am fascinated with symbols and intricate patterns that, to me, give glimpses and insights into to the great mysteries of life.

I am an artist with a background in graphic design, painting, drawing and photography.  I am interested in exploring various ways of printing without a press.  I have played with monotypes, cyanotypes, rust prints, eco-prints and my own original stencils.  Currently I am experimenting with a Silhouette mint machine to make printing plates from my photographs.  I then create a relief print on watercolor paper and hand color them with watercolor paints.

Exhibition Details
WHEN:
12/3/2011 - 12/30/2011
WHERE:
Pump Project Art Gallery
CONTACTS:
Chair: Anna Kinbar
Participate
Event Deadline
The deadline for this event (11/2/2011) has passed.
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