Artist Statement for Beyond the Stone
I start out by photographing sculptures and their surroundings. Many of the pieces have come to reflect the area in which they are located. With time, people sometimes lose track of the significance of the pieces. For someone who is considered a tourist, I feel that my eyes sometimes take fresh note of the work and see beyond the general outward appearance. I begin to investigate the principles of design by looking at the work and its relationship with viewers and its location; how do line, shape, color, form and texture influence the piece? How does the viewer react to the work? How do I react to the work? What do I first notice?
Though sculptures are often muted in color, I cannot help but imagine them in color. If they could wear clothing, what would they choose to wear? Within each sculpture, there exists some sort of spirit; some personality or essence left behind by the sculptor who created the piece. I am merely trying to engage this spirit and allow it to speak to me. Thus, this dialog is what I attempt to reference as I work on a piece.
Often, street artists throughout Europe also attempt to create a dialog with their surroundings by producing guerrilla style pieces or tagging things. Their quick brushstrokes, fluid line work, and vibrant colors have greatly come to influence the way I handle color and mediums. It is this rapid creation of work that often produces the most honest piece. There is less time to judge and critic one’s self allowing for a pure form of expression.
Just like the graffiti artist uses something old to create something new in his/her environment, I too prefer to use found materials on which to create pieces. Old matte boards coming from as far away as Italy and as close as Ohio have been most useful in constructing the mixed media works. What better way than to recycle something viewed as no longer worthy of consideration or use? The matte board also provides a reliable surface upon which the process of blending watercolors with soft pastels may begin. After utilizing the pastels and watercolors for larger areas of color, I often work back into a piece with pens and ink. The contrast between what is first noticed and the minute detail is what makes each work exciting; each work has the opportunity to provide the viewer with a new intricacy or detail not noticed upon first inspection.
Patterns have also come to play an important part in the pieces. How consumers and societies react to patterns is an on going issue with which I am greatly fascinated. Then there are the naturally occurring patterns that react in combination to the man made patterns. Someone once said that, “Nature is painting for us, day after day, pictures of infinite beauty.” I choose to react to these intriguing and often extraordinary works by capturing them on film, and then interpretively recreating them for others to experience.