Artist’s Statement

My most recent work explores the subconscious: the language, images and memories that form the undercurrent of my daily experience. I begin by free-writing words or phrases on canvas without censorship. Next, I paint with acrylics over and around these words, sometimes adding more words to the emergent layers.

Both the nonverbal and verbal aspects of my paintings represent a struggle to open to my inner life. Stiches, dresses, caves and smoke are forms that repeat on my canvases and often obscure words aimed at truth. At the same time, the words themselves can act like masks: some are scribbled; others say something to distract me from what I needed to have said. However, there is always the next word or the next image to push an individual painting toward a more authentic representation of self. In her poem “Diving into the Wreck,” [1] Adrienne Rich famously wrote about uncovering the female persona:

The words are purposes.

The words are maps.

I came to see the damage that was done

and the treasures that prevail.

For me, painting is about navigating the simultaneous wreckage and treasure trove of my subconscious. In the end, it is neither the wreckage nor the treasure trove, but the process of discovery that prevails.

[1] From Diving into the Wreck: Poems 1971-1972 by Adrienne Rich. Copyright 1973 by W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.

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