I use a variety of media, including oil, gouache, metal leaf, India ink, fabric, glitter, acrylic, pastel, watercolor and crayon on wood, canvas, journal pages and folded accordion books. My paintings, drawings, collages and book art depict otherworldly environments, usually inhabited by a lone figure lost in a chaotic world. Two recent art residencies in Italy have been a big influence on my work, as well as a trip to Japan, where I photographed vintage kimono textiles. In my new series of large "brain jungle" paintings, celebratory, nature-based shapes and patterns float in a kind of abstracted, mystical landscape.
By combining 'puzzle piece' images (using sketchbooks, newspapers, magazines, postcards and travel photos as a resource) I create relationships between disparate elements, always looking for connections, in an attempt to confirm ideas from Western physics and Eastern philosophy that all phenomena is interdependent.
Fritjof Capra's writings on chaos theory are especially fascinating to me. He explains that, thanks to advanced computer technology, the movement of clouds, fire, falling leaves, swimming fish and other forms of motion in nature, previously thought to be somewhat random or 'chaotic,’ are actually measurable, with mathematical patterns almost identical to one another. I find solace in the idea of order within nature, as an escape from the bombardment of information in our digital world. But I also see nature as a vast unsolvable mystery, with a sense that there is more here than meets the eye.
My recent series of gouache explorations usually begin with parts of an orange tree. Ever since a trip to Rome, where I healed quickly from an illness while painting under a 900-year-old orange tree still bearing fruit, I include an orange tree in almost every work. The orange tree is for me a symbol of rejuvenation and hope.