Years ago I set out to be a painter. I got there, but only after taking a few detours along the way.
In 1972, after studying puppetry with Bil Baird at his NYC theater, I founded my own troupe, the Moonberry Puppet Theater. For the next several years, I made puppets and scenery, wrote stories and performed puppet shows in Western New York. Around the same time, I became a fiber artist, creating figurative soft sculptures and dolls, which I exhibited in juried craft shows and galleries throughout the US and Canada.
After ten years of working in fiber, I transitioned to two-dimensional art and a career as an illustrator. My first jobs were editorial illustrations for magazines, newspapers and corporate clients. With the passage of time and the experience of raising three sons, my interest turned to children’s books. During this period of my career, I illustrated more than two dozen children’s books, including three books that I both illustrated and authored. While writing and illustrating books, I also ventured into the world of design, creating and licensing fabric collections.
Eventually, I returned to my first love –painting. Now, I am creating assemblage paintings of figurative subjects, using antique breadboards and other wooden surfaces in combination with found objects and fragments, mixing materials not unlike my soft sculptures of years ago. “I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” – Douglas Adams, “The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul.”
I like people. I always have. I am fascinated by the manner in which they present themselves and their lives. Regardless of the venue or material, my goal in making art has always been the same: to explore the essence of a character and celebrate the qualities that make that character unique.
For me, a painting is the beginning of a story. I am preoccupied with the passage of time and enjoy weaving relics of the past into the design, texture and color of my work. I like to play with surfaces and combine unlikely materials. With these details, I seek to capture a fragment of a story that is or was or has the promise to become.
If I’ve done my job, the viewer will have enough visual clues to unravel the implied narrative.
In short, I guess that makes me a storyteller with a hammer and a brush.