When I begin a painting, I am not thinking about a composition, but enjoying the whimsical and lyrical movement of the marks and shapes. I may draw on the canvas very quickly with charcoal, letting the drawing disappear or poke through as I work into shape and color.
As a process painter, I often revel in being lost inside the painting especially when amorphous, deconstructed shapes or peculiar drawings show up as a surprise. Nothing is as it seems in reality in the painting.
When a structure or composition begins to appear, I slow down the process, start listening and let the painting tell me the story.
Born and raised in Chicago, I spent much of my childhood and early adult years going to classes at the Art Institute and studying modern dance. Often, I see a connection to the study of improvisational dance and the rhythmic lines and marks I make in my pieces. The lines stroll or stride briskly across the canvas linking whimsical shapes that chatter with one another.
Cy Twombly, Richard Deibenkorn and Joan Mitchell have influenced my work. I am grateful to Kathleen Brennan and Tesia Blackburn for their generous teachings in technique. I am especially fortunate to have been mentored for many years by Leigh Hyams. She taught me the value of authenticity, spontaneity and unself-consciousness in the creative process.