When I make art about others, I become a story teller. My interest in allegorical, personalized and commemorative art, celebrating milestones in individual journeys began in my childhood.
Growing up, I had an insuperable perception of varying people’s personalities and their corresponding feelings which often overwhelmed me with their immensity, causing me to feel isolated. As I matured, my sensitivity was compounded with chronic illness, which pushed me to study philosophy and meditation in order to manage the often overpowering burden I felt. Regular study taught me to become aware of my many gifts and in the process to appreciate others.
In Commemoratives I use what I have learned about myself to create personal landscapes and portraits of people, analogous to the resources they use while facing complex internal and external challenges. Sometimes I am asked to capture the essence of certain milestones in people’s lives such as births, graduations, anniversaries, retirement or the passing of loved ones.
I begin with an interview to learn about the significance of an individual’s event and the people involved. I learn about their preferred colors and their emotional connection to them. We talk about objects they cherish, their philosophical beliefs and their feelings about the depicted commemoration. I often use photographs as an added conduit of ideas. During this time, I connect the dots and from the mélange of ideas, a firm understanding of the commemoration emerges.
In these compositions, I use mimetic, harder-edged shapes and images to contrast them against melded color fields to create tension; static vs. active. Sometimes I paint transparent, stenciled layers of epistolary images, depicting them in values close to the background color to add movement and depth in the painting. Frequently, a singular element develops into a focal point of the piece to espouse the subject itself.