In my current body of work, I start with an observational drawing of my home’s interior. Rather than stage a grouping of objects like a traditional still life, I rely upon the spontaneous composition of belongings as they are found. Following the drawing, I then develop a richly saturated, layered and imaginative collage. Though abstracted, the finished piece maintains some of the original drawing and includes local color. I return to the earliest perspective either through reference materials or direct observation in order to present a convincing space. In my work I pursue an interplay of color, depth and shape as I engage the viewer in the intimate act of entering my home through its portrayal.
Considering I am describing the continuous changes my living or dining room undergoes on a daily basis, like the cyclical process of folding a load of laundry or serving a meal, collage is an appropriate medium to portray this constant flux. Accumulation, removal and ordering are equally present. I am attracted to its forgiving and spontaneous nature. This process allows for the ability to respond to visual information through constant “rupture” and reconfiguring to develop a densely layered image.
I began my collages of interiors after an experience cleaning another couple’s residence for year and have continued now that I am currently providing care for my two young sons. Regularly tidying someone else’s home, and respectfully reordering their possessions caused their space to enter my visual memory bank in a unique way. Now, everyday I am engaged in a constant state of transformation. In my own home, I imagine much more dramatic changes, some fanciful and others feasible. The collages are a way for me to manipulate my own space and celebrate its idiosyncrasies. By sharing an inventive vision of my own home, I celebrate its significance.
Mixed media collage on panel, 14.5" x 18.5" - SOLD
Mixed media on paper - framed 20.5" x 16.5" - SOLD
Growing to be Grown
Oil on Canvas - 16" x 20" - SOLD
Oil on Canvas - 18" x 18"
Oil on Canvas - 54" x 78"
Up and Down
Oil on Canvas - 54" x 78"
Oil on Canvas - 44" x 33"
Oil on Canvas - 27" x 23.5"
He Remembers that We are Dust
Oil on Canvas - 48" x 36" - SOLD
Oil on Canvas - 44" x 40"
Oil on Canvas - 24" x 24"
Oil on Canvas - 18" x 24"
Stardust Staredust Stirdust
Startdust Staredust Stirdust was a solo exhibition at Wild Goose Creative in Columbus, Ohio in 2010.
Transforming the space with a recycled paper installation, this exhibition will playfully consider the themes of drawing, the act of prayer as a creative endeavor, along with an ordered description of the universe. Featuring images of stars and building materials, Stardust Staredust Stirdust presents a view of the cosmos as malleable. This view encourages participation and gallery attendees will be invited to contribute drawings and receive prayer during the event.
Composed of black circles and strips of paper, Stardust Staredust Stirdust offers a broad interpretation of the process of drawing. Not solely defined by material like paper and pencil, drawing can be described as a line in space, or an aggregation of marks on a surface. For example, each strip of paper suspended from the ceiling playfully becomes a three-dimensional drawn line complete with connecting circles. Delicately pinned to the main wall, the ‘drawing’ with cut paper forms a cloudlike mass. Images of wood weave between black circles or stars to assist with the construction of a cosmos, sensitively connecting constellation groupings.
I consider the practice of drawing, whether in this context or more a more traditional framework a contemplative activity. Recorded in conversation from the magazine Art on Paper, Yves Berger aptly portrays this quality about drawing. “I feel the process of drawing as something like an electric circuit: something passes from what I look at to me and from me to it. And, hopefully, when conditions are right, when everything is plugged in, I’m carried away by this flux” (Yves Berger 66). Berger’s description of the development of a piece of artwork, especially a straightforward drawing, relays the dynamic relationship between initiation and response within the role of creation. Additionally, embedded within the engagement is the role of experimentation. The artwork itself evidences this type of concentration and its process of making.
By inviting participants to contribute drawings and prayers, Stardust Staredust Stirdust suggests a parallel connection between the two activities. The dynamic relationship or flux that Berger describes is comparable to my personal experience with prayer, as much as it is with drawing. While prayer has many forms, within this exhibition I am most interested in its description as a creative endeavor. As a productive or imaginative venture, the efficacy of prayer to exact change or cause transformation is implied. I consider the definition of the pursuit as simply a dialogue between the God who created the universe and an individual or a group of people. Conversation and candid exchange is at the core of this activity. Indeed, the explanation of “something passes from what I look at to me and from me to it” is a relevant description for the mysterious nature of being in organic dialogue with an infinitely inventive God.
The star imagery throughout Stardust Staredust Stirdust further encourages the correlation between both drawing and prayer while amplifying the scale of the exchange. As with many creative pursuits the formal goal for the exhibition is harmony. Harmony, or the pleasing agreement between smaller parts to whole broadly relates to a more ordered view of the universe, more specifically the definition of the cosmos.
Additionally, fragile pieces of paper lumber weave between the celestial bodies to create loose gatherings of stars. The building material tenuously links the collection and dissipation of black circles to playfully suggest that the cosmos is currently in the midst of construction. Carefully dissected from a book titled The Fundamentals of Carpentry, I specifically borrowed images of wood to poetically involve a personal view regarding the threads of connection between drawing, prayer, and the cosmos. I incorporated a reference to carpentry to subtly suggest the person of Jesus at work amongst this conversation.
Although this framework is specific and themes of the exhibition are quite broad, the overall posture of Stardust Staredust Stirdust is one of an experimental invitation to engage with the process. While considering the mysterious and expansive nature of exchange between drawing, prayer, and the cosmos, perhaps conditions will be right to become “carried away by this flux.”
John and Yves Berger. “Lobster and Three Fishes”. Art on Paper. New York, New York: Darte Publishing LLC, Vol. 10, No. 5. May/June 2006. 66.
Installation at The Luminary Center for the Arts in St. Louis, Missouri as a part of the When We Build Let Us Think We Build Forever exhibition in 2009.
For this project, entitled Night, ordinary brown paper grocery bags were transformed into a room-sized installation depicting the evening sky. Woven into a backlight canvas, the piece was created from the unassuming gleanings of people engaged in routine activity. Becoming a dark canopy, the sacks betray their primary function as containers of basic needs. Throughout the installation, celestial bodies are loosely abstracted. Composed of bright fragments of light and color, stars also playfully stand in for individuals. Both materials and imagery underscore shared experience.
Like the nature of the bags themselves, Night responds to both the shared economic situation and a more personal struggle exemplified by my process of accumulation of the bags as well as the action of painting and stitching such a basic material together. Over time, the project became a documentation of my working hours, reflecting a shift towards late-night studio time.
Dusk, a familiar event, represents a conclusion and the last gasp of vigor towards confronting the obligations of the day. The phenomenon also serves as a reminder of cyclical occurrence. While the temporary dim of twilight can be timed and quantified, the metaphor of the image evades that type of precision. In this work, made tangible as a curtain, the nightscape becomes suspended rather than represented as a succession of events, an impenetrable blanket that precludes far-reaching vision.
Though created within a large installation space with vaulted 20ft ceilings, the work refuses the majesty of the nightscape and speaks to the repeated questioning of the validity of the cycle. Just as night often leads to stasis rather then anticipation, the curtain calls the empty space behind into question. A viewer familiar with the space understands that much is unseen, but cannot be sure what is behind, whether we look with hope or uncertainty.