I’m interested in history, current affairs, travel and the human condition. I find the art making process is sometimes more of an experimental dialogue between myself and a piece rather than something planned. Often when working on a drawing or painting, it turns out completely different than what I anticipated it to be. I listen to what a piece has to say rather than force upon it my preconceived notions of what it should look like.
My process involves a back and forth exchange between spontaneous, intuitive marks and careful deliberation and intention. I think of it as letting things happen, and making things happen. I make a move and then the piece reveals something new to respond to. I look for images as a starting point for inspiration such as personal travel photographs, online search images and/or vintage pictures that I have collected throughout the years. I am attracted to imagery often not conceptually or thematically but formally through elements of shape, color, line and value. I look for connections formally between images and begin to select various portions of pictures within the composition. Using my artistic eye, I do not directly copy an image but try to fragment and juxtapose images together to create a new narrative.
As an artist and educator, I feel and also remind my students the essential role of artmaking is to create work that maintains not only my viewer’s attention and interest but motivates myself as well. When I explore new ideas and themes, my artistic drive intensifies and creating art becomes very exciting. This mode of thinking initiates several bodies of work at one time fluctuating from abstract to representational, figurative to landscape, colorful to monochromatic and drawing to painting. I work with a variety of 2D mixed mediums from wet and dry mediums ranging from graphite to charcoal, pastel to watercolor and acrylics to oil painting.
Recent Work: Tourist
This current series of oil paintings examines ‘over-tourism’ and the struggles that local communities in some of the worlds most adored travel destinations endure. After a trip to the Cinque Terre, Italy several years ago, I was concerned with the environmental effects of mass tourism and the blatant disregard to the local landscape. Picnic, for example depicts a cemetery overlooking the picturesque seaside town of Manarola. Recently, volunteers and guards have been hired to protect the clifftop cemetery from misbehaving tourists whom were picnicking on top of grave stones. To signify this, I have placed a gingham pattern that consumes the landscape which stereotypically symbolizes picnicking in many cultures. My goal with this body of work is to depict tourist global ‘hot spots’ and provide information to viewers on what local economies are facing. As an avid traveler, I do not want to deter my viewers from traveling to these amazing places but to have awareness on these issues.
Past Work: Selfie
Why do we take pictures of ourselves and post these images on social media? Are we portraying ourselves as fiction or fact? This series of drawings depicts female figures (nude, semi-nude and/or clothed using their cellphone to attain ‘the perfect selfie.’ I’m interested in contemporary culture and the obsession of ourselves in this image based society. I’m also looking at making a connection to cellphone addiction as a compulsive devise used every day. The process of these drawings begins with a model in my studio that I ask to text and take pictures of themselves. With very few suggestions regarding the poses, I use my cellphone to the capture poses. After a model session is completed, I select images and draw from my phone. From start to finish, I use my phone to draw from reference images. This process of art making also reiterates my own dependence on technology.