There was always the disconnect. As a young woman I was fortunate to have had some extraordinary art training despite being all the while haunted with a dark inner/emotional life. Educated in the 70’s, I was influenced by artists & mentors who were vigorously straining at the boundaries of art in Los Angeles (Otis Art Institute), NYC ( The Whitney), and Minneapolis (MCAD). Though I found some success & comfort with the heady and philosophical worlds of abstract/installation/conceptual art, I was ever aware that the formalism ran counter to the inner spiritual/emotional world I inhabited.
After marriage and the birth of my son I began earnestly mining my own life's subject matter in my art. I explored themes of disconnection and loss primarily in printmaking and collage. With my son’s death in 2008 I continued in this vein, always intuitively, often in agony of despair, to seek expression in the pain of loss. This will always be an aspect of my work, most recently in series paintings of dead flowers.
Teaching figure drawing at NWACC led me to create a new genre: the Self-Figure. Beginning with contour drawings of myself nude, expressive, physically reaching; I’d found another way to synthesize inner pain, with beauty and aging. The Self-Figure became ever more expressive in large canvas oils. Many of these works feature flamboyant gowns & hats (wearable emotions) and multiple figures rendered in vibrant and atonal colors.
As I age I increasingly see art as embodying a sort of connective filament: a binding force between people, the living & the dead, the cosmic & the temporal. My latest series springs from the ancient Finnish myth- the forest goddess Meilikki who pulled the bear (Ursa Major) from the stars and placed him in the forest. Hunters worshipped her. As in many myths, this is the quintessential connection between the Natural & Cosmic spheres. I use collage (including Prisma & fabric) to meld Venetian Renaissance and Nordic imagery which speaks to the expansiveness of the concept.