It might have been those frequent afternoons in my Mother’s kitchen. She would throw an old sheet around the shoulders of a neighbor, clasp it tight at the neck, then pass scissor and comb from hand to hand while tracing an arc around her customers head. I still experience that same fascination with watching people, noticing the exquisite geometry and natural grace of every human form as it travels and changes through time and place.
My intimate drawings of people are largely from direct observation and require travel, so the materials I use are small and portable. Simple tools like hand-sharpened twigs, small brushes, ink and watercolor allow me to draw rapidly on small, torn pieces of watercolor paper. Additions of graphite, acrylic, transfers and re-purposed materials such as fabric and thread provide an increased level of image complexity.
I refer to my working method as “dip and draw”, molding images with spontaneous irregular lines, rich layered colors, and organic unpredictable shapes. Truncating, pairing and multiplying the forms suggest relationship, action and mood. When I can’t quite make out what’s happening and when there is a certain amount of tension and mystery, interpretation becomes very personal. This back and forth allows me to build layers of imagery and meaning which are often not visible on the first viewing. I think this is a metaphor for what I think about people. First reactions have some accuracy, but repeated exposure brings out the good stuff, the human stuff, that is so rich and revealing. We’re full of conflicting moods, urges and tendencies, as well as messy and divine intentions. I want the brilliant ink and water to speak to this.