Making Art

Making art requires discipline, commitment, passion and a ridiculous leap of faith. Like all worthy mythological quests, it is not a straight road. It takes you to places you had no intention of visiting. It grinds you down. It hooks you through the heart. At times, you want to weep with frustration, but at times it’s pure joy.

I work with acrylic paint, ink, pastels, Japanese rice papers, charcoal, found objects and petals and leaves from my garden. The mixed media/collage process is messy and sticky, but that’s part of the fun. Landscape and figurative elements inform my imagery, but the pieces are often abstract or iconic. I love working on paper, but lately I’ve been craving space, so I’ve moved to large canvases.

I usually begin by choosing a colour, an image, a concept or a character. My work tends to be free-flowing, with energetic brush work and layers of ripped paper. As in music and dance, rhythm, mood and line are important. As in writing, a painting should have an element of surprise, something that intrigues or engages the viewer on an emotional, intellectual and/or spiritual level.

I take my inspiration from the ordinary and the extraordinary: trees and gardens, the seasonal quality of light, the sensuality of the human body, the beauty of a landscape and even the raw wounds of experience. Sometimes I know where I’m going, and sometimes I get lost. In the studio, time disappears, the intuitive, subconscious mind takes over and the rest of the world falls away.