Many of you have asked about my creative process. Here it is, as best as I can describe. Of course, there’s always the X factor, comprised of intuition, gut feeling, years of studying art and looking at pictures, going to galleries and museums etc.
I’m a voracious reader and read a lot of poetry, and a lot in general, particularly about climate change. I listen to a wide range of music, from classical to folk rock, rock, jazz, world music and more. I’m also a meditator.
These aspects of my life contribute heavily to my creating artwork. For example, the Leonard Cohen song “Anthem”, was an inspiration for my painting series “There’s a Crack in the World Where the Light Gets In”. Articles about the dying mid-Atlantic cedar trees in the Pinelands piqued my interest and after much research I began my series “Ghost Forests”.
Once I develop a theme, I do some drawings. Then quick sketch paintings on paper. When I’m ready to paint, I am already warmed to my subject, and then can put paint to canvas. At that point I work spontaneously and do not draw the images on the canvas. I want the painting to look and feel fresh. As I paint, I modify the colors and shapes, and it’s very much a dialogue back and forth on the
canvas. The painting tells me what it needs and I react to what I see. When I think I’m finished I let the work sit in my studio for a while, and then look again after a week or so to see if I agree that it’s finished. Very often it’s not, and I tweak it further till I’m satisfied.
For my three-dimensional work, I move the pieces I have chosen around in the shadow box, knowing in advance what my theme is. I have collected numerous found objects and broken objects and have a treasure trove of items to pick from. Once I have my theme, I start by painting the box and gluing any sheet music or whatever I want to use on the inner walls. I position and reposition the collage material and objects until I’m satisfied. I might then further paint the exterior walls of the box to further enhance the shadow box.
I follow a similar pattern with my palm bark assemblages. I sometimes paint the palm bark pieces first, and then play with the shapes until I’m satisfied. Other times I work with the shapes first, composing the assemblage. I then carve, cut and otherwise hone them, take a photo, and then paint the entire piece. When I’m satisfied with the composition I’ll then glue the pieces into place.
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I'm starting my blog with thoughts about our changing climate. So many of us are concerned about the environment and the planetary crisis we're in, one that will make life on earth pretty horrible for our children's children.
Years ago I made a promise to be a steward of our planet, high on a mountain top in the Andes. Now I create art about our Mother Earth — it's beauty and crises. I'd love to hear from you regarding your thoughts and feelings on our climate crisis. Here's a chance to write directly to our climate! Please take a moment to put something down, or send your drawing, poem or whatever about your concerns.
It all starts with "Dear Climate,". You may post your letter in the Comments section. I am not selling your emails or doing anything that may worry you about your privacy.
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