I am always asked “what inspires me” or “where I find my inspiration.” It is a difficult question to answer directly because the answer is always changing. Well, here is a glimpse into my current process: I begin each painting with a background wash of different colors. Sometimes it is a colorful theme (using the paint from the end of the day), sometimes it is monochromatic, and earthy or neutral. I like to drip, splatter, and bleed the paint using a water bottle, or alcohol in a spray bottle – I just don’t like to begin with a blank canvas. I then begin to glue down collage, handmade, textured paper, then lay down the color. (Lately) I scumble a white/light wash glaze over the composition, and incorporate umber glazes in certain areas for shadows. I like different textures, collage, spots, peek through. I use several layers of gel medium between coats to create lumonisity and depth. I also like to use vine charcoal to outline specific areas, write, and draw. Sometimes I go back into it with watercolor crayons, oil sticks. Sometimes the final piece is sealed with a cold wax. There is not really formula, just whatever speaks to me a the time. The whole process is intuitive. I don’t know what I am doing half the time, to really describe the ever changing process. I find experimentation very challenging otherwise I become complacent. I find inspiration anywhere and everywhere: A paint store, my garden, a decorating magazine (Elle Decor is my favorite,) a produce stand, the Fashion section of the Sunday New York Times, the sky, etc.
When I work on a piece, usually the way it is initially painted is the way it is intended to be hung. However, I am open to options, and I always leave my work open to interpretation. Toward the end of the process I like to turn it different all different directions and see if it exudes a different energy. I always enjoy hearing how others view my work, what they see, and how they decide to hang the piece.
I don’t like to to sign the front of my work because I find any signature – my signature distracting. Some people (viewers) don’t understand this and insuniate that the piece might be worth more or more meaningful if signed. I once heard that Georgia O’Keffe only signed the back of her work – and while I don’t visually care for her style, she is well recognized, respected, and crediable. So I use her as my example.