I am drawn to the human face. I am captivated by its flexibility and the variety of expressions it can achieve. Trying to convincingly render these forms is deeply satisfying, though the effort can be frustrating too. I also really love the process of working from life, yet most of my work is derived from photographs. The techniques of realism are used, yet I don’t think of myself as a photorealist. I’m not after the look of the photograph, nor am I concerned with the photos’ presumed link to reality. Rather, I think of these images as plausible fictions. I want to explore unnatural colors, larger-than-life scales, etc. but still make an image that looks “as if” it could exist.
Equally important is the process of making images. There are easier, more efficient ways to produce images, but I find myself drawn to more time consuming methods. These works especially the ballpoint pen and the rubber-stamped drawings, involve countless small repetitive acts. As the drawings progress the processes take on an aspect of meditation that is quite liberating. The process allows my hand to take care of making marks, while my head puzzles out what the images mean.
I’m also interested in the nature of illusion – how is it that flat images are perceived as three dimensional? I often try to make the backgrounds as flat as possible to highlight this puzzle. Also, I am currently very interested in making real, textural and patterned grounds and the superimposing illusionistic images over them. Also interesting are images composed of numerous repeated smaller images. At a distance they read as portraits; up close the break down into aggregates of individual stamped images.
Most important, though, is the spiritual aspect of portraiture. Although I have tried many times to find ways around it, I cannot escape the conclusion that the act of knowing one another is intimately bound up with the act of seeing one another – of direct person-to-person visual contact. Furthermore, I am more than ever convinced that portraiture is the best means for studying and revealing the divine spark that is within us all.