Artist Statement July 17 , 2020

Many of my pastels are done en plein air and are a part of the tradition of working directly from a subject. With the challenge of capturing the fleeting light and changing elements outdoors my pictures are often surprising in their development. I love to seek the balance of color which is my own perception of color and is my unique experience to share. My choice of natural subject matter is easy to find while I live in the middle of the woods surrounded by fields, trees and next to a beautiful lake. My travel allows me to visit sites of natural beauty in different areas of our country. I also enjoyed producing about a dozen paintings while cruising down the Nile River in Egypt. Many of my plein air subjects are quite interpretive such as “Afternoon Poplars” 2005 and The Firetower” 2015. You can see lines and colors that are applied with quick energetic strokes and lines. Those plein air works and my paintings concerning social/political issues are seen on my web-site. The social/political works are usually produced in the studio using my imagination to create the effects. The most recent subject is titled “Metamorphosis” and was completed last month in June 2020. In 2010 I produced a diptych on the subject of fracking in the area that I live. The diptych was seen in several exhibits and associated with the climate problem. It ied the Pope's statement on climate to those exhibits. In 2000 I participated in the World Conference Against Racism and joined my students with my silk banner titled “Spiritual Poverty.”  

Through my painting experiences I have developed a deep appreciation for the harmonious balance found in our natural world. It has become our challenge to adapt to the role of responsible caretakers of our home. Education is of vital importance to steer our priorities and development of improvements in our systems and technology. The vitality of a learning environment is creativity and imagination. I like Einstein's perception that "Imagination is more important than knowledge." Can we imagine living in harmony with our natural world and begin to create the ideas that will elevate and clean up our systems and use of technology?  In nature we have a model of perfection for harmony and balance that I aspire to capture in my art.  I believe that it is this harmony and balance that is viable when connected to other areas of learning and living. Through a reordering of priorities putting ethics and morality in charge, we can capture these dynamics and integrate them into our systems.  This will be difficult or impossible without the fresh optimism of a new generation of connected creative thinkers. This will also be difficult or impossible to initiate without a leader who believes in science and facts.

The experiences and ideas mentioned above have influenced my compassion for my work as a teaching artist and about 15 years ago I was asked to provide a passion statement regarding my impact as a teaching artist in Job Corps and I am sharing that below in my blog. At the bottom of this page there is a note for older post that can be seen. Those posts that include my work with head start children were bumped out after adding the recent changes.