As a child, I lived in my imagination. I fantasized about the world in rain puddles and the one I saw in the reflection of my bedroom mirror. As I grew up, I came to explore my feelings about what I saw and imagined by painting.
Though non-representational art was popular when I was a young artist, I preferred exploring three-dimensional space in my work. I focused on learning and using old master methods of indirect painting. I studied the work of Rembrandt and Italian Renaissance painters, and the French painters Chardin and Corot. The different methods I studied were specific to certain schools of painters and after some years of trying to replicate them, I began to conduct my own experiments using various media, different brushes and types of rags, and a variety of colors.
At the same time, I have also been a devoted student of Cezanne, Bonnard and Matisse, representational painters who differed in their ultimate goals, but all of whom, in different ways at distinctive times abstracted space and volume and called attention to a painting’s flatness. I have come to realize over time that in each painting I want the viewer to see how I use design elements (for instance lines, shapes, colors) to create a three-dimensional world--to see the painting as a window with a view--as well as a unified, impenetrable surface of flat shapes (real and created worlds); a paradox.
Life is paradox, peace and struggle, pain and delight in the same moment—opposites we comprehend not intellectually as much as emotionally. We live our lives, experience myriad ordinary pleasures and troubles, ups and downs, usually without much reflection on our feelings. But when we look at a piece of art that is lifelike, truthful, we see our life reflected back in a way that hits our core and floods us with the feeling of living, integrated and whole. I produce my real/created world, not only as a place for me to be fully awake and alive, but for others to inhabit in the same way. I want my paintings to be a reminder of all that is suffered and sacrificed and at the same time to be a place of joy and hope, peace and light, a place to feel the whole of life.