From 2012 - 2013, after years of teaching art, raising children, and twenty-some years running my own business, in decorative painting, I went on the adventure of a lifetime. I joined the Peace Corps. I taught English in the Middle Eastern country of Azerbaijan, and was immersed in a environment totally different from my own. I found the country to be fascinating, and rich in culture and history. It was, at the same time, the most challenging and the most rewarding experience I’ve ever had. One of the hardest parts, however, was it’s lack of artistic freedom and personal expression. This created an emptiness in my soul that I had which I have never known.
Upon my return to the United States, this hunger for art was followed by an intense immersion; I was driven to go, and take it all in, once again. I was relentless; reacquainting myself with museums of art & history, opera, ballet, dance, music, and theatre, which has always been part of my best self, all my life. I was insatiable. I even took a 10 week intensive course at the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art).
At the same time of this artist expansion, I was constrained by my environment. My studio was gone and I was unable to produce art the way I had before. This discomfort drove me to a new perspective; that of timeless imperfection. I reject the idea of perfection. We are humans, and it’s the imperfection and uniqueness of the individual hand which sets us apart from machines and mass production. If one looks closely at Japanese Art, it is the asymmetry, blank space and blemished objects which creates beauty.
Being worn is a result, sign of, and effect of life & natural interaction. I love that the Parthenon and DaVinci’s Last Supper are not the bright and vivid colors they originally were. They show interaction with time and the elements. That makes them more alluring & valuable to me.
Now that we have the ability to do exact reproductions, it is my wish to be unencumbered by the need for perfection. It is my hand and imprint of my uniqueness which is my desire to share.
I’m trying to break away from my culturally imposed need to stay within the boundaries of the expected and accepted framework of art presentation.
My work has soft side edges, In Pueblo Drum, and #28 Moray Hill, you can see guide lines which haven’t been erased. Bamboo Forest has areas where the pearl varnish has chipped off. If you look closely at my work, you can see the preliminary mapping of shapes and composition plus covered-over "mistakes" and irregularities. I keep them in to show you the process. This is what I call my timeless imperfection.
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Halibut Hook, 21” x 24”, mixed media on muslin, Jefferson Museum of Art & History
Vessel #2601, 26” x 19”, mixed media on linen, Museum of Fine Art Boston
Steeple Cock, 22.5" x 30.5", mixed media on fabric, The Barnes Foundation
Harpoon, 10.5" x 35.5", mixed media on fabric, Mystic Seaport