Artist StatementSeveral years ago when I had been commissioned to develop designs for art quilts I was given a piece of graph paper to aid in the process. I discovered by accident that between the thin blue lines on the surface of the paper and the actual paper itself there existed an entire universe--like another dimension altogether. I found that if I was in the right frame of mind I could coax shapes from this micro-thin dimension out onto the paper. These shapes had form but no content, like letters of the alphabet. The shapes were restricted to horizontal, vertical, and 45 degree lines because that made them easier to sew on a machine. I found that if I fiddled with them they began to accumulate content--sometimes funny, sometimes dark, & sometimes unintelligible. I am no longer involved in making designs for quilts but I have retained this design process in making paintings, sculptures, and prints. After my last show of paintings I stopped thinking about making art objects. I decided to start thinking just in terms of images. Images can be viewed on a variety of electronic devices, pasted on walls, sent around the world in a nanosecond, and can be posted for free public consumption. I still make objects, but only in the process of making of images. I believe the meaning of any work of art (or anything for that matter) is inherent in the way it is made. In my current process of image making, I cut the shapes out of fiberboard laminate, ink them up with block printing ink, and print them by rubbing on the back of the paper with a wooden spoon. This crude but precise form of printing is in keeping with my notion that the shapes I have conjured are bits and pieces of a language I have been trying to learn, or like pictographs, or characters in some on-going narrative. From a distance these images look like they are computer generated but on closer inspection they have a distinct hand-made quality.
I grew up in the middle of horse country: Lexington, Kentucky. This suited me just fine because from the time I was a little kid all I wanted to do was ride. I got the chance to do plenty of that but it was during a short stint in the army that I became interested in art. I moved from Kentucky to attend the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. While there I supported myself by working as an exercise rider at nearby Pimlico racetrack. Since racetrack work is all done in the morning, it left me with afternoons to work on art. This system sustained me for years after graduating from MICA but it began to get a little old so I applied to and was accepted into the MFA program at Syracuse University. My thought was to land a job at some college teaching art since that was how most of the artists I had met survived. The two years at Syracuse were interesting and fruitful but left me with no desire to purse a career in academia. I went back to the horses in the morning/art in the afternoon routine until a training accident convinced me that it was time to try another approach. I went back to school and became a physician assistant. I now work as a PA in an emergency department. My somewhat erratic schedule still allows for blocks of time in which to work in my studio.