Inspired by People, Memories, and Places
The Wish Series
The “Wish” series is a whimsical homage to the innocence of childhood. The paintings in this series are mostly set in beautiful fields of flowers, with images of happy children, playing, and having fun, as children should. This is a time when they should be free and unencumbered by the difficulties in the world that adults have to deal with. This central theme “as seen through the eyes of a child” permeates the paintings. The children are faceless, in silhouette, because I wanted to portray the universal child in any part of the world. Every child deserves to be free.
After a student exchange trip to Japan, I brought back a very large stack of “washi” paper. The Japanese have had a very long history of fine paper making family businesses. The trip was the inspiration for a series featuring a new technique I developed of hand painting Japanese paper, tearing the sheets of paper into a variety of sizes and then applying them to a canvas. The results were quite extraordinary and inspiring. After some experimentation, I realized that I could adapt this method to achieve either an abstract or a more recognizable, realistic effect, or even a combination of the two. The paper is randomly torn, not cut with scissors, but glued very specifically onto the canvas.
“The unrestricted paper image formations are calming and freeing because the resulting shapes evolve from unrestrained creativity. As I delve deeper into my creative psyche, I am discovering and uncovering an unquenchable urge to rip and tear and deconstruct and then to allow my creativity to flow blindly in putting the pieces back together.”
Impressions of Impressionism
On a a trip to France, my desire was to visit and follow the paths of the Impressionists. I wanted to stand where they stood to paint, smell the same air, witness the same light, and basically walk and work where they did and see what inspired them. I focused on Claude Monet, and Vincent Van Gogh. This first led me to the incredible pond and gardens in Giverny at the home of Claude Monet. Monet created his gardens over a period of 20 years. He would constantly re-arrange colours and textures, until he was was satisfied that the gardens were ready to be painted. Here I spent an entire glorious day surrounded by the beauty of the sunshine, the plants and flowers, and the serenity of the pond and the Japanese bridge that he had built. I felt connected to him, as I too am an avid gardener and painter. When I returned home I created 30 paintings in 4 months. I have used the same torn paper technique as described in the “Japan Series”, together with acrylic paint, to once again create works with recognizable images, but in a style closer to the Impressionist painters of the 19th century. Creating these paintings was a highly gratifying experience with a most incredible trip to France as my inspiration.