I see paintings as living things, as embodied beings. Paintings have skins, just like we do. They present their face to the world and have an interior life, just like we do.
Since my early years of training at the Rhode Island School of Design, I have been a figurative painter. My current paintings are imaginary, composite portraits of women in varying states of visibility. Based on the faces of women I know, vernacular photographs and women artists from art history, I combine fragments of different faces to create a new identity, one that is animated and present, imperfect rather than ideal. Contrasting interior and persona, the paintings explore vulnerability, the circularity of time, and the nature of how and what we see. These themes are through-lines in my work over the last twenty years.
The paintings are process-driven, juxtaposing gestural figuration and geometric abstraction against fields of color to establish an emotional atmosphere. I revel in the viscosity and flexibility of oil paint and the flow of water-based paints, with each material facilitating different effects of surface and depth. Intermittently sanding and scraping paint down to the wood panel, I leave visible traces of previous marks, building a visual history of the painting that in turn creates the image. Everything is in flux until it’s not. I paint until a specific presence emerges through the process, not a particular likeness. The act of creating a portrait becomes a metaphor for the act of painting, and vice versa.