My abstract expressionist paintings represent the joyful exploration of acrylic paints and a variety of mark-making materials. These paintings are a culmination of decades of creative experiences with a variety of media: oil paints, watercolors, acrylics and clay. Living in rural Pennsylvania with its lush valleys and vibrant forests provides me with a rich vocabulary of images. The decade that I lived along the Kachemak Bay in Alaska also brings to my mind visions of wide open spaces, glistening snow and bright blue skies. The saturated hues of autumn leaves, farm fields of corn, frosty snow-capped mountains, an icy bay - all find their way into my pieces, perhaps not literally, but through memories and impressions of having lived in their presence.
I have taken to heart a brilliant quote by Mark Rothko: "A painting is not a picture of an experience. It IS an experience." I thrive on allowing my body to move in open, gestural ways with brushes and mark-making tools in hand. When painting with this attitude of playfulness and discovery, I find myself more connected to my own essence and each piece becomes a recording of my energy. I easily become smitten with the lusciousness of a color, the curve of a line or the impact of staccato marks on the canvas. Working intuitively, I respond to the last brushstroke with the next one, building up layers of colors, marks and washes that provide depth for the final piece. I have no preconceived notion of how a piece may turn out; each painting follows its own path to completion. These elements of wonder and surprise keep me coming back to the studio each day. My hope is that the viewer will appreciate the process as well as the final piece of art, and take from the painting a part of the joy I had when I created it.
Harrisburg Area Community College
Associate of Arts, 1993