I found myself at that place in time where you know you must do what you were meant to do and do it now or it will never happen. For me, that meant creating art – taking the experiences and feelings of my life and placing them on a surface to try and capture meanings that I can share with others. My hope is that the viewer of my art will share these experiences in a way that will move them, that they will take something with them that will be remembered. I liken it to a dance where I invite them to share a moment of time with me and we will together explore thoughts of nature, secrets, times and places that we dream of or wish for. Or at times to simply reflect serenity – a feeling of everything in its place and as it should be. Sometimes the dance is samba-like, joyous and colorful – sometimes its a waltz, slow and purposeful. But always it is moving and requires thought and invokes emotion.
I have used many mediums over the years but none has captured my imagination like encaustic – an inspired blend of beeswax and damar resin. Placed in layers, each fused with heat to one another, the end result is a most luminous and ethereal type of artwork. I usually have several pieces in various states of completion at any given time. This allows me to distance myself from each work for a time. When I return to it, I can see it in another light. I believe this allows for more depth and meaning that could be lost if a piece goes simply start to finish.
While I am working I try to engage as many senses as possible – the scent of the honey in the beeswax, the sound of music playing in the background, the sights of color all over the studio, the feel of the wax as it polishes beneath my hand, and the taste of a creamy cappuccino or cool glass of Riesling- all combine to influence my choices as I place color or object to the surface. In the end, it is a combination of all these experiences that create the given piece of art. I rarely start with an idea in mind – I simply surround myself with inspirational items: found objects like old keys, maps, and postcards, reference books collected over the years, photographs of nature and people, pigments from Provence, color charts – and let the process begin. There is an inner world I access, where I can lose all sense of time and place and just create. Images play in my mind like old movies and lead me to search the studio for the right ephemera or color to translate the idea to the substrate. Sometimes I have to wait until it can be found and the piece sits for weeks- but it is worth it. When the right mix is achieved, it is like magic.
Years ago, I read a book on the need for the re-enchantment of everyday life. We have forsaken our forest paths for concrete sidewalks, our gold seeking alchemy for modern physics, our fairy tales for reality shows. My art allows me to recapture a naive sense of wonder about life. For the moment, I can reconnect to the possibilities of love and nature and all that is life in its true essence. I invite the viewer to share that with me – if you dance, I am a success.