In my paintings, everything flows together. Colors, lines and shapes – buildings, rivers, and roads – machines, plants and people are woven into one harmonious, functional system. I want to subtly remind viewers that we humans, in all our diversity, are essentially interconnected, and with thoughtfulness, can function together harmoniously as well.
On the surface, these paintings are simply places I’d love to visit. Mysterious, primarily benevolent, colorful worlds where everything ‘works’. On a deeper level, they are an exploration of what Buddhist Monk, Thich Nhat Hanh has called ‘Interbeing’. ‘If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper. Without a cloud, there will be no rain; without rain, the trees cannot grow; and without trees, we cannot make paper. The cloud is essential for the paper to exist. If the cloud is not here, the sheet of paper cannot be here either.’ – TNH. Everything and everyone is connected in my work and in the world.
When I work, I turn on some music, sit down with a blank sheet of paper and choose whether to begin with black ink or watercolor paint. I work quickly. I leave my thinking mind out of it. (Often I need to push my thinking mind out of the driver’s seat!) I rely on improvisation and a stream of consciousness approach to let my life’s experiences bubble up and flow into my work. Anything I’ve seen, heard, tasted or touched through the years may come forward. However it comes my way, I let it come, and I relish the surprise. After each layer of paint or ink I stand back. I watch. I wait. Sometimes I wait days, weeks, or even years to add another layer of paint. This process of painting and contemplation is always happening in my studio with many different pieces in many stages of completion.