Monday, September 14, 2015


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 and contemporary textiles, monotypes on mulberry paper and acrylic on shaped 5-ply
photo credit; Bryan Wing

Can you 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

Can you 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 ready.


Tell me 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 Wing
What 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.
Do you experiment with different materials a lot or do you prefer to work within certain parameters?
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



What 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.  
Is 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