My most recent body of work was begun as my father lay dying, then died, and as my daughter prepared for and then gave birth to her first child, my first grandchild. Both of these events involved a mixed bag of consuming emotions and memories, as well as an overwhelming sense of waiting. Meanwhile, around me has been and continues to be the ever-active cycles of the garden, nature, and daily life. For several months I was without the ability to create, as there was so much else going on limiting my time, occupying my soul, and testing my physical and mental stamina. Once my father was released from this world and the flurry of activity death incites was over, all that I had carried with me, stuffed down, held tight, also slowly began to release. Until one day I picked up a paint brush and spent the whole day painting. That night I put a crib together.
In these works you will see cycles of emergence and fading away, of joy, movement and energy, as well as stasis and entropy. You will recognize the workings of nature, as well as signs of human impositions and interventions. You will see entanglements and layers of time, ever moving, morphing, changing, growing.
Seeds and cords are big themes in these pieces. Potential growth, dormant beauty, reincarnation, the future; and tethering, strings that tie us to this world, knots that hold us back. These interest me not only as symbols but also purely in their aesthetic forms and compositional relationships. Bright, saturated colors can dominate this work and mask what is behind. You will see they are often joyful and playful at first glance, then upon further inspection, layered and often unsettling.
The grief of losing my father has subsided, living now in the form of an occasional bittersweet longing to be with him again and a glowing ember in my gut that sustains me. I no longer feel sadness, but instead a reassurance and calm that comes from all he was and is in my life. Seeing my daughter become a mother shows me that the lessons of love my father taught me I was able to teach her, and I see them being continued as she nurtures her own daughter. My granddaughter fills my days with joy in discovery and the sharing of simple beauties and the magical presences of nature. As I navigate these profound life experiences I feel a growing sense of connection to and understanding of my own being and the part I play. I think this might be wisdom . . .?