I have drawn the figure from life and the plein air landscape for many years, working in multiple media (graphite, charcoal, reed pen, silverpoint, watercolor, pastel, oil palette knife on shingles) and monotypes, usually creating work in a series. I am fascinated by trying to capture the portrait ~ the spirit and body language ~ of the model and the changing atmosphere in a landscape.
In 2014, in my show, Family Matters, I drew inspiration from my 101 year old mother, my baby granddaughter, other relatives and our family dog. The show focused on contrasts ~ between generations, sensibilities, materials and techniques. Building on a series of vintage lace embossments from this show, I continue to use my grandmother’s vintage lace, to emboss its impression in wet pulp. The pulp is macerated from my unsuccessful watercolors, and I recycle the lace and the pulp, hoping to bring new life to both.
I am currently captivated by handmade paper and create abstract landscapes out of cotton, abaca and kozo pulp, and added pigment. For these pieces, I begin with a plein air watercolor or oil landscape and deconstruct the colors, transposing the paintings into color swatches of vibrant colored pulp.
Living in the country has given me great appreciation for the nature that surrounds us. In a group of graphite drawings created from trash found while walking in the woods, along roadways and at the seashore, I have tried to shed light on what we are thoughtlessly doing to our environment. I create abstracted handmade paper pulp landscapes, adding seaweed, wasp nests, string, leaves, clay, sand, rope and washed ashore debris to expose the environmental problems facing our oceans. “Nightmare” is a reaction to the terrible disaster brought on by the explosion of the offshore oil rig in the Gulf and to our treatment of the living ocean.
In the seascapes in the Washed Ashore Series, debris including discarded plastic, styrofoam, rubber, computer chips and nylon fishing line is camouflaged as it is to sea turtles, albatross and dolphins, who think the plastic is plankton, are caught in the fishing line, grow encumbered and strangled by six pack holders or become immersed in rusty colored oil slicks. At a distance, the objects appear to come alive in a beautiful setting but at close range they reveal an environmental catastrophe. I just want us to notice what we are doing.
Silverpoint drawings in my Human Nature Series depict objects I find in nature that communicate. “Hydrangea Roots”, for example, are observed to have human faces and gestures and to interact whimsically with each other.