I began painting in 1983 as a college student sick with pneumonia. Making art became a committed process of self examination and continues to be today.
In the early nineties I did my graduate work in Art and Consciousness Studies at John F. Kennedy University. During that time I created a series of 78 photo collage images based on the traditional Tarot, a project that would take eleven years to complete. The project was titled the Kei, Sanskrit for ‘sacred place,’ or ‘home,’ In a time before Photoshop that early collage work expressed a fascination with uniting seemingly contradictory visual elements in one picture plane. These images, which often looked like dreams, were published in magazines such as Psychology Today, Yoga Journal, and the Women’s Calendar of Artists.
In 1996 I was hired as full time faculty at Cogswell College in Sunnyvale, California and for the next eight years, taught storytelling, storyboarding, design, creativity and content development and mythology. I also taught in Singapore and India. While traveling, I became interested in the ways in which people from a variety of cultures and religions celebrate their sacred days. I traveled to fourteen countries with a video camera, and filmed some of those festivals and celebrations. With the help of a class we designed at the college, I was able to create a data base that included nearly every holiday and sacred festival from around the world.
During that time I made large acrylic paintings on paper, attempting to come to the painting free of an agenda or hope for a specific outcome. Some of those pieces are held together by layers and layers of paint, because it would often take many hours to find my way into the painting. Some of the work I that I felt was the most visually successful was painted during the time my father had cancer and just before he died. I was surprised to learned from that series of paintings that even amidst life-altering loss there exists ironically, an invisible underground stream of joy.
The black and white ink paintings come out of a life talking, thinking breathing and living yoga, a love affair that began in 1991. Created during my young son’s nap time, the intention behind this work was to break through the process of deliberation, being less from the head and more in the body, being present enough to express whatever was ‘there’ in any given moment. I use the ink dropper directly on the canvas. Each piece speaks of the nerve ganglions, the muscles and veins, the passages that transport , for lack of a better term, ‘energy,’ inside and outside the body, like the roots of plants and trees, fundamental patterns of movement that exist in all living things.
The paper mosaics are pasted down one square at a time, each like a breath which comes into and out of the body. I often try to pace the gluing of one piece at a time to my breath. One in, one out, each slightly different from the one before it, all assembled create a contiguous piece, a whole life of single breaths.
The process of making art has taught me about ‘life making,’ a continuous practice of learning how to best respond to and serve the possibility of any given moment.