Abstraction was not my initial interest when I began formally studying art. It was some time before the impact of it drew me in. When that “happened,” my response was coincidentally and profoundly emotional and intellectual. For me, abstractions inspire reflection and meditation and become an experience of the body, mind, and spirit. The colors and spaces, and sometimes the visually changing or shifting spaces, reflect the experience of life itself for me. I am stimulated to search for or to create order.
My interest in large spaces springs from a childhood spent in open landscapes and big skies. Painting with oils, I enjoy creating quiet, peaceful experiences that can bring a sense of a spiritual presence to the viewer. As I work with oils and the blending of pigments, I often reflect on events — past, present, and possible – and conditions of human experience, response, thought, and conduct.
Working in acrylics, on the other hand, is more immediate and direct for me. I am more likely to focus on the initial responses to color and space: how colors relate to each other within the flat space due to their intensity and hue; how colors push and pull each other for placement in perceived space; the effect on the whole canvas of the length, breadth, or narrowness of a line, a brushstroke, or a color; and the creation of perceived depth and space that all elements of painting bring to a work of art.
I feel that viewing abstract art is quite a different experience from viewing objective art; it is an internal experience and often takes more time to understand and appreciate. As one looks at an abstraction, the viewer’s internal (emotional and mental) responses become the actual subject of the painting, rather than the subject being an immediately recognizable “object.” Colors as well as spaces that appear to have been created in an abstraction will, hopefully, in time, bring the viewer to sense his or her own deeper thoughts and perceptions as they relate to personal experience and understanding of various worlds, or spheres, of interest.
I was born and grew up in eastern South Dakota where I was fortunate to have been exposed to visual arts by elementary school teachers. I loved playing with colors and spent a great deal of time drawing and coloring at an early age.
As an adult, I explored various forms of expression – photography, clay, inks, colored pencils, and paints – through the process of earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drawing and Painting from the University of Georgia. I settled on the use of paints as the main instrument for expressing my creativity in the abstract.
Returning briefly to South Dakota for the simple pleasure of “coming home,” being near family, and living where one can see wide horizons, big skies, and vast sunrises and sunsets, I continued to explore the use of oils and acrylics for creative expression. I now reside in western Colorado, where I especially enjoy the spacious and colorful landscapes, blue skies, and the mild, dry climate.