The journey and search for home, both literally in my surroundings, and metaphorically in my self has been a constant theme underlying my work. Environments and exploration guide my art practice. Houses are templates, made of solid or disintegrating cement, as well as wax. Chairs can be a throne or a place to land. My cement houses, altars and spheres are created by pressing different mixtures into molds, or, as with the spheres, patted into shape with my hands. I incorporate anything into the cement that catches my attention; sticks, bones, coffee grounds, swamp mud, and plants.
The materials I use, their inherent physicality and stories, literally form the foundation of my art-making. Play and expression through materials is as vital to my work as subject and content. Art-making has continually been my means of integrating all the forces of my own growth and maturity. In rural Michigan, home means local woods. Changing seasons, the breakdown of bones, rotting leaves, the light traveling east to west each day, gathering, observing decay, continual transformation and light are parts of the daily process. The birds teach about flight and return, character and persistence. I find my own persistence in observing nature. Acrylics are my primary medium, with the addition of inks, oils, stains, and glues which are layered, glazed, and sanded often many times over. I work a surface before I apply paint often to the point I feel as if I am painting on a living thing.
Before Michigan, California was my home for 45 years. Growing up in the Bay Area in the 1960’s I devoured it all, free speech, flower power, war protests, Be-ins, live music everywhere.The ecstatic 60’s contrasted my childhood self who felt shy and lonely. Later, I became part of the Women’s Building in Los Angeles. It was a groundbreaking program lead by feminist artists. My art schooling did not consist of formal training as much as it was full of living, collaborative, interactive performance and conceptual work. An improvisational, experimental education gave me space to begin painting in the mid-1980’s in spite of my background in sculpture. But painting was a return, in a sense, to an impactful Franz Kline show I’d seen as a child. My childhood internal landscapes of smallness, fear and loss existed in contrast to Kline’s work. Now I had a new possibility. It wasn’t that I wanted to be an artist. I wanted to be the work, bold, proud, and beautiful.