artist notes and bio

I have been creating art for many years, though over the years my focus has switched from acrylic painting and paper-cutting to printmaking and abstract watercolour. I enjoy printmaking, watercolours, decalcomania, minimalism, working on paper, and I particularly love to work large when I can. For me, it's explorations of colour, shapes, patterns, methods, and outcomes I can't necessarily control. I'm always looking for and researching new techniques and new ideas, new methods and ways of doing things, and enjoy expanding my skill set and knowledge base. I can't wait to try something new out whenever I learn it.

Generally what drives my work is shape, colour, pattern, and happenstance. I don't tend to go in for strictly representational work - though if something I make ends up looking like something you know, that's no bad thing. I let the audience see what they want to see in what I do. It's part of why I rarely put titles on things. I don't like to tell people what to get out of what I make. If a person looks at something and sees a story, that's good; and if they look at it and only see pretty colours, that's good also. If getting people to like things is part of the point, then let them get there however they get there.

I like what I refer to as improvisational art or accident art (though I think the current term is intuitive), where you do not know where the piece is going when you start, and when the piece ends up in an entirely different place than you might have planned. I like the unplanned. I like the randomness of certain techniques, that add that spontaneous element to the creative process. I suppose I like to see where the art takes me, rather than where I take it. It all sounds way more throwing paint at the canvas than it actually is. An improvisation or orphan piece or an unfinished idea may start something, but what happens later is far more deliberate and methodical. I also enjoy minimalist work - simple, abstract drawings that convey movement, emotion, and though many start out as pencil work, I have transferred them all to a vellum or bond stock, using India or other inks.

I have a fairly severe visual impairment which may make my activities seem hilarious. It makes me laugh. It does affect my work somewhat - particularly with photography, I find, and sometimes with detail work in other media. No matter how thick the glasses get there are simply some things I do not see - detail, distance, etcetera. When taking pictures I can see only what's right in front of me. I have no idea what's going on away from me, so what I capture could sometimes best be described as abstract. Sometimes I can't even tell if the thing's in focus before I take the shot. I'm seeing shapes or colours or patterns, not details. In painting it's only a problem in the sense that some of my work is less refined than I wish it could be, but tiny details and things, smoothness of line, proper filling of space, is a little derailed by being visually impaired. Good thing I prefer abstract art! Honestly, though, while having impaired vision is, in and of itself, a problematic thing, I choose to see it as an advantage when it comes to my work.

I know that art can be a wonderfully stabilising force in a person's life. I still take classes and workshops when I can, participate in creative events and shows, and my mission in life is to get everyone I meet involved in some kind of creative pursuit. It's in us all, it's just a matter of finding the means by which you can best access and enjoy it - painting, cooking, laying brick, balancing books, whatever floats your boat. I see art as an inclusive thing, not something that should divide.

Currently, some of my main interests, skills, and favourite tools include: