My clay work is figurative and often attempts to see through the lens of a child’s world, where mysterious things and beings are always just out of reach. I am frequently drawn to some kind of narrative, regardless of the media I am using. Hares and children are the main subjects or characters in most of my work.
The clay pieces are mostly pinched and then bisque fired at cone 1 or 2. I sometimes do a quick low smoke fire if I need some deep hues. If I want to use color I will use colored pencils and pastels after the firing. I don’t fire after applying the pencils or pastels. The recent glazed figures come from quick studies, or play, I do to loosen up and explore ideas for larger, long term works. These pieces are relatively small and pinched or modeled. I have been glazing and firing these maquettes at cone 6.
My installation work, through the In the Cloud series, has offered a challenge to bring works from various media into a space and create an environment based on a specific theme. The idea of somehow unifying these pieces, formally, has been terrifying and exciting. This series has been a deeply rigorous and cathartic process of accepting the vast changes thrust upon us by the Digital Age.
The mixed media collages are multilayered compositions, or studies, using photographs of my drawings, clay pieces, and installations. These are done using an application on a tablet or a Mac. They began as a kind of scrapbook process to capture the temporary excitement of drawing on a gallery wall, or seeing the same installation work in different spaces. The digital collages illuminate some of the magical, creative process that leads to the finished pieces and which might continue beyond them.
Why hares? My first encounters with these hopping lagomorphs were as a child living in South Dakota. They were quick, fearless, and timid. They could endure the cold, and they seemed to never sleep. Many years later I continue to return to the physical form of the hare and the wild nature of the animal to speak on human terms about innocence, endurance, and perhaps explore our relationship with nature.
I’ve been inspired by narrative ceramic art of Edith Garcia and Arthur Gonzalez. It’s hard to miss the Robert Arneson and California Funk influence in my small glazed marauders. Cement figure sculptor Isaac Cordal’s work also fascinates me. Lately I’m amazed by the large mixed media pieces of Bordalo II (Artur Bordalo).
I’m fortunate to get endless inspiration from teaching young artists, and working with talented colleagues every day. I’m grateful for the rich creative engagement of artists and art lovers in Olympia and the region.