Painting is a sensuous pleasure. I love the lushness of oil paint: working slow; mixing colors on a palette or directly on the surface; and making changes while building up textures. I adore the transparency of watercolor and its proclivity to produce unique colors and tones as layers are painted over one another. I enjoy gouache for its soft and opaque charm. Acrylic paint has a versatility I admire: sometimes layering thin washes; other times mixing colors prior to applying; and often adding materials to achieve a thicker consistency.
I use color and contrast to form the structure of the composition and to produce space and depth, and vary textures to form a tactile surface. I paint the edges or attach painted wood frames to accentuate a painting's presence and physicality, and sometimes leave the canvas un-stretched to present as a wall hanging.
Creating cultural activity is my mantra. I use personal and art history to inform my work and to develop an understanding of the world. Though I tend to paint conceptually or in an abstracted manner, I will include realistic imagery and ideas, and two of these - vessels and landscapes - I have been drawing and painting since childhood, and have since returned to.
Sky Snakes 19x23" acrylic and sand on canvas and wood frame
Beginning 26x26" oil on canvas and wood frame
Desert (ed) Earth Series
Paintings with vessels placed in deserted landscapes under moons in infinite skies, surrounded by abandoned sun-bleached buildings and mesas. I use texture for a hint of realism and flirt with flattened spatial depth, geometric abstraction, and minimalism. Some have painted wood frames; some have colored sand (gathered from the desert that surrounds me) mixed into the paint.
This series is inspired by my return to New Mexico: a celebration; nostalgia; and lament of lost cultures that left their artifacts, bones, and structures. Is ours next ?
Vessel #1 9x11" watercolor on paper with wood frame
Red Spirit 11x11" oil on canvas with painted edge
For thousands of years, women have made vessels in their likeness - breast shaped and womb like. Vessels have sensuous forms and a charming functionality, yet are beautiful in their emptiness. The making of vessels evolved into a refined and coveted art form that took on a ritualistic importance. Different communities and cultures developed individual styles that were traded, sold, and shared with peoples far and wide.
I'm in love with vessels and have been painting them for decades. I began this series while still in Dallas - using opaque watercolors to make small paintings in muted earth tones. After the move back to New Mexico, I switched to oil paint and to more vibrant colors with texture and movement.