In my ink and paper constructions, I tear, shape,
and combine drawn and prepared papers. Working with ink and
brushes of many sizes, I begin with large gestural movements
that echo the rhythmic flow of musical phrasing. Prior to my
studio session, I listen to many musical selections, 18th century
Baroque, contemporary classical, or jazz, and select the music
I will listen to as I work according to the kind of mood or
energy I wish to convey and by visualizing the musics
effect on my linear gestures. I then lay large papers in rows
together on the floor and work quickly from one paper to the
next, changing brush sizes as needed and allowing ink to dry
before adding other tones. Later I use portions of these gestural
paintings as layered components, combined with durable papers,
and build three-dimensional forms so as to create the illusion
that these forms burst out of themselves within a sturdy physicality.
The forms are non-rectangular and have folded, torn, or curled
edges that crawl outwards to extend across the wall.
My marks are gestural abstractions, however, the
shapes, shadows, forms, and lines I use can suggest an undulation
and take on an aspect that may suggest energy, landmass, waves,
ice or snow, rock, or other physical elements. I choose
to work on paper because of its long history as a means of recording
human thoughts and ideas. Paper is a natural material, recyclable,
and environmentally safe. Also, tearing and shaping the paper
is another mark of the human hand.
My pictorial language derives from many areas.
Characteristics I observe in natural forms, such as rocks and
fossils inspire me always. Years of study in calligraphy guide
my strokes and brush work. My lifelong study of music, its performance,
and reading of musical notationincluding facsimiles of
autograph manuscripts from the 13th century to those of contemporary
timesinfluence my marks and details in my compositions.
My constructions have a long personal history.
As a child, I was fascinated by found elements and piecing them
together in new constructions. I created sculptures by combining
Brazil nutshells to create figures within a scene I crafted
from cardboard and straw. I created 3-D houses and cityscapes
from cardboard my father brought home from work for me; and
from flat corrugated shipping boxes, I created 3-D landscapes
and roadways with hills and bridges for my little brother to
use in his imaginative play. I also was fascinated by the peeling
of paint on our old houses exterior and the flaking and
chips of interior paint, and as I picked and peeled shapes in
the brittle paint, I revealed layers of previous paint colors
from an earlier time, like archaeological finds. In my constructions
today I build on concepts of hidden layers and continue the
process of discovery in assembling my pre-made pieces into something
entirely new so as to reconstruct a new reality of my own invention.
Current Influences include Mark Bradford, Cy Twombly,
Gao Xingjian, Julie Mehretu, and Qin Feng. From Robert
Nickle, one of my most memorable teachers at UIC, I maintain
an enduring, indefatigable interest in the many kinds and extremely
varied uses of collage and a deep appreciation for the natural
marks contained within weathered scraps of previous use papers,
which are in their way, fossils from our present times.