I am always looking for the moment when something changes or shifts. Because I am fascinated by the fluidity and possibility of one thing becoming another and the movement inherent in that kind of transition, I see the makings of beginnings or endings around me continually, and that is a large part of what informs my work. I see that moment in the tiny microcosm of our individual cells all the way to the vast macrocosm of the universe. I think about linear time versus all of time. I think of a line as a timeline, one that affects space and surface: it divides, defines, separates, and travels through a surface. I want the viewer to see these relationships and how line embodies the transitional moment. I want to draw a viewer in, so I try to use seductive forms and materials. I want the viewer to want to touch the art. When I say that I don’t want the viewer to see “me” in the artwork, I am admitting that I am in love with the object. The art and movement is in the object, and I am not so much turning the object into art as revealing how the object is already art. I want the viewer to just come upon the object like walking upon a beautiful view—it is their discovery.
I use raw materials, such as wood, metal, and plaster, because they have such great potential. They are blank slates ready for manipulation. Surface preparation is one of my great joys. I love to wet-sand and make a surface so pristine that your eye floats into it. The subjects I tend to discuss with my work are ones of great simplicity, and the concentrated work I do to prepare the materials and the surface allow me to focus on what is vital in those elements and how to express the fluidity and beauty of those raw materials. The world is a complicated place. I want to create something quiet and simple, a piece where the viewer, in concentrating on the line and arc and surface, becomes aware of what is essential to the materials themselves. If that then leads to them to ponder larger questions about time and meaning, so much the better.
I tend to think and create in a process-oriented manner. Drawing is the beginning. It is how I visualize. I think of the line as the place where a shift begins. A line is a decision. It is final, especially the way I use them. When I cut the surface to make the line, it is done, there are no second chances. For that reason, I have to act in complete confidence when I am executing my work. When the viewer sees the lines I have cut, it says something different than if I had made a drawing of lines with a marker. The cut line is deep like a trench and behind that line there is nothing. The viewer’s eye skates there on a void. They see the line, it is real, but actually they are seeing nothing, observing an absence.
I am not interested in creating literal works, so what I want the viewer to “get” out of my pieces is not easy to define. I feel as though I put all of the information and understanding into a piece, but then don’t leave my artist persona there in the work to spell out to the viewer what I mean. Instead, my artist persona hangs out on the other side of the room watching the viewer’s eyes become engaged by the line or curvature and then absorbed in the continuousness of those lines and their ability to embody over and over again an ephemeral moment of transition. My artist persona watches to see if the realization of that quality, either conscious or unconscious, brings the viewer a sense of calm or a deluge of “big” questions, or hopefully both