Featured here are a series of recent works begun during the isolation of the Covid-19 quarantine in 2020 and more recently during a residency at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture’s Alumni Summer August 2021.
As a starting point for each artwork, I think of a general setting in which figures will act, and of conceptual parameters of subject matter framed by opposites, such as cleansed/soiled, freedom/constraint, swimming/drowning, or forward/backward. During the art making process, specific images and text begin to emerge and work together.
The stories of my mother arose out of my grief and sadness after her passing as I realized what a champion and hero she was in her life. These stories are also an important part of the anger that propelled me to push beyond the gendered limits I experienced growing up. My mother was usually the messenger informing me of those limits, but it was – and is – the larger social and cultural structures that sustain them.
To add words to the paintings and drawings, I use old cardboard stencils, many of which I have used for 30 years. I purchased some of these stencils in the 80s when a sign business liquidated such artifacts as it converted to phototypesetting. To be free from a computer in my studio, I use an old Royal manual typewriter, circa 1930s, to type stories. I like the aura use of these outmoded tools has in works of art.
Among the pieces from 2021, is “Swimming Backward/Moving Forward” on exhibit at the Lubeznik Center for Art March-April 2021. “Girl Rolling Backwards on the Beach” is a fresco completed in 2021 using beach sand in aged slaked lime. The Skowhegan frescos were inspired by the Villa of Mysteries in Pompeii and were completed in August 2021 at Skowhegan’s Alumni Summer.