Fleur, 2015 , 5.5"
x 4" x 4 " , carved wood and acrylic
What are you working on
in your studio right now?
Right now I'm working on a 5ply board which I
cut into a form; a form I’ve been varying throughout this series. It’s about
40”x40” by 1”, in this case. I’m using a jig saw and it’s cutting nicely, I can
be pretty free form with the process now that I’ve gotten more comfortable with
the saw. I have two 1-inch foam pads clamped to my work table and the piece
resting on top. This way, I’m not in danger of the blade going thru to the
table and my arm motions can be fluid, much like drawing but with the saw.
I'm finding some great antique textiles which I
dye or paint or leave unaltered to adhere to the surface. Sometimes I do more
cutting after they’re secured to fray up the edges. I’m also using more
contemporary mass produced fabrics like vinyl and quilted materials and making
some acrylic pours which are super clean and slick. These elements serve as a
good contrast to the antique pieces.
I also have a 3-D piece in the works right now, born
out of a textile print block from India.
Other objects I’ve used in this series are a
bent wood frame from France, a wooden comb from Africa, china, a vintage wooden
cigar making mold and a wooden washboard.
Flotation Device, 2015,
39 x 39 x 1", vintage andcontemporary textiles,
monotypes on mulberry paper and acrylic on shaped 5-ply
photo credit; Bryan
describe your working routine?
My personal studio is behind my two teaching
studios so I can sometimes slip away in between classes but the bulk of my work
gets done on days I regularly set aside each week and three one-week longer
chunks of time I schedule in per year. I actually like working late or all
night; no interruptions. I love processes so I usually have several going on at the same time; I am making
monotypes, sawing wood, dying fabric and paper, painting, collaging and making
acrylic pours until I get the work to a point where it needs more focused
concentration in order to bring it to fruition.
Especially at the start of a piece, I like
holding different materials next to one another and allowing myself a “what if”
moment, thinking about how this would bond with that and what it would then “say”.
Sometimes things seem humorous or beautiful or ugly and then I go for it. If it
feels right, I do it. I try to keep pushing through boundaries and to let my
gut be my guide.
Richtergraph, 2015 ,
3 x 3 x 1.5 ", carved wood, textiles and acrylic
describe your studio space and how, if at all, that affects your work?
I love my space! It’s 700 square feet and has
plenty of light. I wish I had tall ceilings but I don’t. I do however have a
lot of great surfaces. With all of the process I get involved in, the place is
usually a wreck that takes hours to clean up after and I really do like my
space organized. Working mixed media is definitely messy and for me takes some
re-organizing every few days. I have a lot to keep up after, if the need to do
scroll work or sand an edge or monotype with ink or use powdered pigments in a
dye or cold wax an area of a piece; all of the materials I need, are here. I’m
about your process, where things begin, how they evolve etc.
I usually work in series so once I “finish”
saying what I want to say in one series, I’ll get an urge to move on. This
usually means bringing some elements from the prior series into prominence for
next. Materials and processes tend to lead the way. I do however consider what
the work seems to be saying. In this current body of work; New Artifacts the
concept of layers of history and culture and adding my hand to that
conversation is of concern; so that’s usually on my mind as I’m creating. I’m
also considering their new identities, unrecognizable from their origin.
I am mainly interested in staying engaged with
the making. I love that the individual works have relationships with one
another in spite of their differences.
Since I am interested in layering a variety processes
and materials, I usually start a piece or a few pieces at a time, maybe with a handful
of monotypes, acrylic pours, textiles or perhaps a few wood pieces; objects
I’ve cut up and begin looking at, laying them out, holding them near one
another and finding what works, eliminating those that don’t relate, on and on.
By this time, I’m starting to get ideas where these things can go and will
start in earnest getting things attached. I’ll likely need to work back into
the piece, perhaps making additional pours or searching out a specific paint I
know will look great in that spot, maybe a very dead paint or a metallic. Sometimes,
this is where discoveries are made; I recently found that if you add some
marble powder to your acrylic paint you can get some wonderful gouache-like
flatness. Eventually, I am tweaking and fine tuning to the point of completion.
textile wall sketch
using antique, vintage and contemporary textiles; some of which are hand
dyed and encaustic monotypes on dyed mulberry paper
photo credit: Bryan
are you having the most trouble resolving?
I’m interested in having the work be “less
careful” in some areas and I’m ready to add some strong hard edged elements as
well. I’m working through these challenges in bigger ways right now. It’s
always the case; to see what can happen next and be open to that evolution…without
fear. I’m usually wondering why I didn’t already do that and just want it to
happen, quickly; to see it realized.
experiment with different materials a lot or do you prefer to work within
Yes, I trust my gut on these things. If I feel
the need to try a new material or process, I do it, knowing it might take some
time to get comfortable with whatever properties or limitations I’ll have to
encounter. I’m willing to explore within what seems reasonable for the work.
Tumbler, 2015, 40"x40"x1",
antique and contemporary textiles, pigment dyes, encaustic monotype on
mulberry, acrylic and oil paint on shaped board
does the future hold for this work?
Continuing with this series, I have an
environment / installation I can see happening. I want to print with my print
blocks on the walls perhaps and / or hang monotypes and textiles all over the
walls and in some areas, the floor as well, and have more work on top of those
pieces. I’ve already begun this in my studio but want to make the right space
happen. Maybe someone reading this will offer the space…ha! I think it would be
interesting to see the work in a very clean space in one install and another
install in a space with age and history. Additionally, I am excited about some
new 3-D objects I’ll be building with a material that is heated to form and
holds its shape really well.
there anything else you would like to add?
Yes, I’d like to thank you for inviting me to do
this interview. I love the concentration on process in your great questions; it
really helped me to understand more about myself and my work having articulated
some of these things. I have admired your work and the
blog for quite a while and I’m really honored to be included.
Rubber Baby Buggy
Bumper 2015 , 6" x 6" x 2", carved wood, textiles and acrylic