FRAGMENTS

I hear paintings.

I see sounds.

I listen without ears and...

I see with sightless eyes.

I paint. I draw. Separate and connected.

Layers of oils and layers of charcoal

and layers of time and flesh... I build

faces, throats, organic form. Form!

Intimate fragments

slanted, tilted, silent and withdrawn.

Oversized, magnified, disembodied parts.

Portions of self; pieces of humanity;

the guts, the soul, the spirit and yes- the flesh.

Gradual decay- inevitable deterioration

I observe with curious fascination. I’d like to say detached.

Glimpses of vulnerability: crevices, hollows, pouches, sags,

inside   to out   to in.

Penetration: reality, illusion,

outside   to inside   to inside….

I scrutinize, scan and probe.

Outward trails of inward travels

Journeys marked with blemishes and scars

of where we’ve been and how long we’ve tarried.

I stare and glare and dissect.

I layer:   on off on   paint wipe add

Darkened surfaces with transparent echoes

of time and space.

Memories linger vivid! then fade

and return with altered sounds and visions.

I layer- and feel the ghosts

of translucent darkness emerge, dissolve

in and out   out and in   back and forth.

 

Remembered flesh, supple and toned

Youthful belief in forever

Mortality looms

invisible, stealthy

the flesh it consumes

and... Where is Forever?

Fragments of beings implode, explode!

Parts become wholes. Fragments become lifetimes

that wither and wrinkle and crease and crack

like too many layers of paint.

And when did I become

like too many layers of paint?

and... What is Forever?

ARTIST STATEMENT

I used to save the best part for last, so that I could relish it… the juicy end of a cheesesteak hoagie, the crispy bits of french fries at the bottom of a container. I’d save new clothes for that special day….

The clothes went out of style unworn. I was too full to eat that juicy last bite. The fries turned cold and soggy. 
 
Jolted by my own mortality, an urgency prevailed. The best part could remain… untouched.
 
My vital signs were stable. I seemed to be alive, but the essence of my being needed to be revived. Could creativity perish? Could one forget how to paint? Creativity that had once thrived, left unfortified… 
could the best of me have died? Life had to be in me still, during the years of my corporate robotic career, for I was suffocating visibly, gasping for air, and choking on the apathy that permeated this atmosphere. The people I encountered, meant well. But they wore masks, instead of faces. I’d search their gazes for clues of passion, sensitivity, a sincere emotion. I stared into my own face, and found myself… disappearing. Responsibility (a single mother of two) of family had kept me treading water. I was drowning all the same, in this bottomless corporate sea. The roar of an imprisoned spirit pleaded to be set free. A fighter, a survivor, unwilling to accept defeat, I had to choose! the destiny that long ago had chosen me. I risked it all. I went for broke and quit my job (this was no joke!). I would paint again, and feel the throb of vitality. The best of me would not remain… untouched. In 1994, at age 46, I chose to apply to graduate school. That nebulous someday (when I intended to do this and that), became NOW. And NOW has resolute urgency. My grasp of “foreverness” on this earth, became propelling and pivotal, epitomized several years before by a diagnosis of M.S. The implications of being mortal precipitated obsessive scrutiny of disembodied fragments of human deterioration; relentless painting of magnified nuances of physical and psychological states of being reflected - in the face. 
 
In a youth crazed society, anxious about the marks of age, I am an aging white post—menopausal female baby boomer, WHO does not want to be EXTREMELY MADE OVER! I am a marked woman, distinguished by the topographical history of my flesh, maps of the memories of my life.
 
My work speaks of change, metamorphosis and transcendence. People age. Through art, universal in its capacity to communicate, I hope to encourage dialogue about the inevitable, gradual evolution that we all must experience, if we are fortunate enough to grow olderThis visual conversation can elevate our awareness and acceptance of the natural process of transformation, to create an environment that will transcend the superficial, and embrace more dignified values and standards of beauty.
 
This work begins with photographs, or my face pressed directly in the photocopy machine. Multiple photocopies are then manipulated to transform the image. The evolution of process intensifies the development of my vision. I place strict limitations upon my individualized methods. Self imposed restrictions of subject, tone, color, and mark-making enhance the poignancy of the content. There is a gradual breakdown of overall image, yet simultaneously the constituent parts become more specific and enhanced (hair, skin cracks, crevices, wrinkles). Paintings and drawings emerge concurrently, connected by process, consistency of vision, and pure obsession. It is the details, which most accurately define myself and therefore, reflect in my art. Abstract clusters of entangled lines describe intimate glimpses of delicate mortal filigree. An obscured facial fragment emerges slowly, as I experience and choose each wrinkle, crack and crevice.
 
The image, intentionally conceived, analytically maneuvered, then methodically placed upon sand coated surfaces prepared with exact densities of sand to influence hue and texture, is then painted with a varied palette of sand, and finally oil. My rapidogragh ink drawings echo, or are preludes to paintings. Drawing is how I think and conceive, regardless of the media used. Distanced from content, after many aspects of extreme preconception, a fragment miraculously emerges. Despite an intensely controlled process, the image that appears eventually dictates to me, and I am happy to comply and be guided. Excitement soars, as I await the emergence of a new life, complete with its own voice!