January - February
I seek to eliminate all or most realistic imagery from my work. I acquit myself from making work that has been expected of me. I focus on manipulation of media while immersed in the process of creating. Pieces are built with layers of media, constructing the final product over time through multiple working sessions. Basic elements and principles of art such as line, shape, color and movement are key components in my current body of work. I use minimal tools in the process of creating pieces often using my hands, fingers and breath to guide mediums around the working surface. Spontaneous and unplanned moments occur in every piece, which is exciting and challenging to me.
When I was a teenager, my attitude towards making art shifted dramatically as I let go of the notion that successful art had to be realistic. I was enamored by artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe, Wassily Kandinsky, Frank Stella and Jackson Pollock. Their work supported the ideas I had; to be focused on color, process, composition, etc. I knew that I could make tightly rendered, realistic work, but never felt comfortable with those creations representing me as an artist. I eventually listened to my instincts and started to strip away imagery, or at the very least abstract it. I allowed myself to focus on process, use of media and the basic components of art. I held onto this foundation through my college body of work, which allowed me to heavily investigate my viewpoint as an artist. I completed most of my work in clay and glass during this time (BFA, Alfred University 2002). As I moved into my professional teaching career, the artist I became started to dwindle. As educators, we strive every day to inspire our students to find their own personal voice in their artwork. As educator-artists, we often struggle with finding that very voice in our own work. I found myself back at the crossroads of feeling like I was supposed to make realistic art, as that was a great deal of what I was required to teach. I started many pieces that have never been finished and at times I was paralyzed by indecision and the pressure to be a realist. I placed a false reality on myself as a realistic artist. As a result, my authenticity and creativity suffered.
Over the past year, I have revisited my artistic influences and have opened up again to the mindset I established over twenty years ago. I have placed no restriction on myself regarding what a final piece should look like. I get lost in the process of creation and media manipulation. The subject matter, style and media are now my confident choices, not decisions that I feel were made for me. After years of dormancy, I have finally revealed work that is authentic and genuine.