Artist Statement

Painting is the truest, deepest feeling of self expression I have experienced. As I paint, I feel energized; thoughts and ideas flow naturally, unrestricted and unencumbered. I am in a place more deeply connected to my inner self. I best describe my work as a collection of experiences and qualities uniquely mine. Memories become woven into the fabric of my being, both cultural and personal and which symbolically represent the many facets of my life and complexity of my thoughts.

My favorite medium is oil on canvas. I find the entire process of painting fascinating from beginning to end. From deciding my canvas dimensions, to stretching the canvas, to the best type of brushes and colors to use for the particular painting I am about to begin. The technique I most often use is applying thick layers of paint over thin washes of color, some which I leave exposed or later bring back to the surface in various patterns, creating a juxtaposition of different textures. The patterns which emerge are almost always organic, free, flowing, interconnected vine like shapes, woven through the many layers of color and texture. The colors I choose are bold, rich and oftentimes acidic, which I like as I find they help provide a more dynamic flow of contrasting energies to the images. It is this movement, this lifelike energy in the painting which I find most challenging to attain, most satisfying and visually most appealing once completed.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Magnolia Morning ©

Magnolia Morning

Oil on canvas

16" x 20"

Two things about this painting made it a great learning experience for me: Its size and the fact that it is a portrait. Neither of which is characteristic of my work. When I first stood in front of the canvas ready to start, I felt as if I was standing on one foot, one hand tied behind my back. Awkward!! I'm used to swishing through the canvas with broad brushes, lots of room to swirl around thick strokes of paint. Not that I never use small brushes but those are for highlights, small details, I thought. Now I wasn't only painting small, I'm working on a portrait! Only twice attempted in the past and those were self portraits. Self portraits are less restricting again, I thought, but this is my daughter... the pressure's on. I'm definitely not a photo realist. I stepped back, took a deep breath and moved out of that restrictive space I had cornered myself. Stepped away from the easel and back into my "artist space." I didn't want to just paint a portrait, but rather capture all the elements coming to play that brief instant as I walked by her, which capture my attention and my imagination.

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