I create nonrepresentational paintings expressing my kinesthetic experience of the world. The works are not purely abstract, but—like much seemingly nonobjective painting today—an amalgam of the gestural with the precisely representational. Working in an intuitive tradition, I bring in the element of chance at the very beginning. The liquid spill, a pooling pour of paint, is the first mark, and my chosen way of activating space.
The origins of this body of work are from early 2014 when I spent a formative month in residency at Sanskriti Foundation in New Delhi. The foundation houses several small exhibit spaces and it was there that I learned of India’s rich tradition of shadow puppetry. Formed of elaborately cut and painted translucent skins, the puppets represent Hindu deities. The intricate edges and shapes resonated, leading me to revisit the poured paint studies I’d been trying out in the studio before my trip. I’d discovered that I was drawn to the natural pigment separations and shapes of the spill on a nonabsorbent surface – the rivulets of paint resembled the contours of the puppet deities’ hands, feet, headdresses, and limbs. But my work has nothing to do with the Hindu religious iconography. My dried paint puddles are up for interpretation, allowing an open-endedness to which I aspire. The spill becomes the spring board for what follows, as well as the central character in a dance. Since then, the work has grown from small drawings/collages on paper to large scale paintings on canvas and aluminum.
The abstract contour and color of that first gesture determine the spaces I build. The shapes produced, asymmetrical arrangements of curving silhouettes meeting hard angles, refer to both landscape and the body. There are horizon lines sometimes, and even perspective, with interior walls and windows creating a stage-like space in some pieces. But it’s all biological and human-scaled. Though composed of odd color combinations and non-objective references, I seek to conjure both humor and movement
Color choice is of vital importance to me, and generally is derived from unexpected combinations that I’ve seen or remembered. I grew up in a home featuring the height of 1950s modernist decor. A deep red rotary dial telephone to match the deep red barstool cushions, had pride of place in my family’s kitchen that was tricked out in lavender and teal Formica cabinets and black and white checkerboard linoleum flooring. I am always searching for color combinations that almost harmonize, kind of like that kitchen of my childhood.