In the summer of 2019 I took a trip to England to visit the place where I once lived and taught for three years in the 1980s. It had been decades since my last visit. I credit the countryside of England for not only introducing me to the subject of landscape painting, but also awakening me to a romantic part of myself that was temporarily overlooked by other aesthetic interests.
The beauty of the English landscape gave me considerable pause. This question emerged: While living in England, do I continue to create the conceptually based art that I was doing back in the States, or do I follow my heart and allow it to roam over a place that was celebrated for its time-honored natural beauty? It was no contest. I took the latter road.
I observed that I learned how to paint, the way I always wanted to paint, while being absorbed in the English landscape for three years; I also arrived back home to the States with a new pair of eyes. I now see beauty wherever I go.
Included in this exhibit are four paintings, out of a series of eleven, done on wood panel. They represent places in the counties of West Sussex, Kent, Northumberland, and Cornwall in England.
1. Lansalles Cove - Cornwall, England
2. Lindesfarne Priory, Holy Island - North Umberland, England
3. St. Mary's Climping - North Umberland, England
4. The Wash House Air BNB - Littlebourne, Kent, England
"Lindesfarne Priory, Holy Island"
North Umberland, England
"St. Mary's Climping"
West Sussex, England
"The Wash House Air BNB"
Littlebourne, Kent, England
My artistic motivation, approach, awareness, and interpretation was immensely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak to be directed towards web-based storytelling. As a former book artist, I expressed visual stories with physical 3D forms and materials.
During the pandemic, my artistic interest transformed to explore visual stories with virtual 3D figures and textures. By blending design and technology, I create screen-optimized, visually tangible objects. My recent practice relates to 3D typography, motion graphics, and abstract art. The body of work is somewhat symbolic, metaphorical, and conceptual, evoking the lyrical emotion of visual storytelling.
In the biennial faculty show this year, I present a series of 3D typography reflecting the undergoing public health issue we are facing, along with a demonstration of virtual reality.
"Photo - Han"
"Quarantine-D Social Distancing"
"Quarantine - H Stay Home"
"Quarantine - M Wear Masks"
"Quarantine - R Virtual Reality"
Drawing is both descriptive and expressive. The pieces selected for this exhibition represent my interests in women, their spiritualism, and their internal survival in life; the subject’s struggle to conquer their physical and psychological confines, as a means to give inspiration to others.
"Babies Are Hungry"
The work I am exhibiting for this year’s faculty exhibition was completed within the in the last year; a year that includes a global pandemic, social enlightenment and protest, and widespread economic mayhem. This work was either directly or indirectly a response to chaos of the world we find ourselves inhabiting.
"Not so, My Lord. I am too much in the sun."
In an attempt to comprehend life’s mysteries, I heed Einstein’s recommendation: “Look deep into nature and you will understand everything”.
I am unceasingly drawn to the fog’s ephemeral and transitory qualities, which echo the fragility, brevity and preciousness of life. So when that rare foggy morning appears in our landscape, I escape to the woods and immerse myself into this surreal dimension of time and space created by this ethereal, atmospheric environment.
To capture these fleeting memories I have utilized the inherent instantaneity of the photographic medium to produce solid aesthetic artifacts to be used as objects for future reflection.
As I explore the expressive capabilities of value via the burning and dodging processes, I am influenced by images generated by current scientific imaging tools and continually inspired by the landscapes of Rembrandt van Rijn, Caspar David Friedrich, Sanford Robinson Gifford, George Inness and Martin Johnson Heade.
Flights of Fancy:
That would be my answer if someone asked me describe my photography. As such, I would have to say that a photographic quality, able to capture the imagination, owes much to the muse of serendipity as it does to employing the knowledge one has cultivated over time.
Having said that, I leave it to the viewer to be the judge.
1. There is a Shadow Following Me. This image was created using a technique I developed in my early years of photography. Simply stated, it employs using multiple exposures under the enlarger while also adding color to the photo.
2. Red Poppy on Purple. Plants in general, and flowers in particular, are some of my favorite subjects. My homage to Georgia O’Keefe.
3. The Big Bang. While taking this photo of a water fountain, I envisioned a likeness to the original moment of existence, when all matter was created and expanded to fill the void.
4. Chapel for the Madonna and Child. As is the case with many of my images, this one also received many versions, until arriving at the final interpretation.
"There is a Shadow Following Me"
"The Big Bang"
"Chapel of the Madonna and Child"
My art represents explorations of history, place, and self in liminal spaces using clay as an access point to deconstruct and develop expanding rhizomes. The work serves as a representation of culture both transient and permanent. Truths existing from passed tales of fact and fiction. Whether real or imagined, respecting all as creators of the present.
This path is borne out of his constant discord and development of identity. I, like many others, exist in a gray area. Born and raised in America from immigrant parents, leading to a floating like cultural experience. A state of being where there is a constant negotiation of dealing with the complexities of shifting schemas revolving around intersectional identities.
My work is indicative of this struggle. Clay as a material acts as a veritable vessel inhabiting these ideas in a very tangible way. With every touch and interaction, the clay holds these memories as a solidified truth.
“Emic to etic to emic” is a collection of my works that represent the complicated self-reflective process of reality testing when it comes to identity formation. The work acts as conduits to edit and distill for edification. In capturing moments and reassembling them in this installation, the complications of intersecting and diverging tropes comes to the fore.
Delving into the anthropological approaches of emic and etic, the work represents internal and external explorations and the relationships that might unfold within that spectrum. Ultimately the work cycles through the possible facets of being.
"Emic to Etic - One"
"Emic to Etic - Two"
"Emic to Etic - Three"
"Emic to Etic - Four"
"Emic to Etic - Five"
“Everywhere”: While I have always been drawn to more contemporary and abstract lettering, I do admire the strength and consistency of the Blackletter hand first developed in the 12th century. To balance my aesthetic, I developed a variation of Blackletter that has a livelier feel. The flourishing was added as contrast to the heaviness of the letters.
Deep in Their Roots: The linoleum print was created in a workshop taught by Martha Ericson. Starting with a pencil sketch, I transferred the design to linoleum and began carving. Several test prints and carving adjustments were made to the linoleum during this phase. Once I had the final print, I knew I wanted to add text. Using an abstract form of Roman letters, I wrote out several variations of the Roethke quote; continuing to tweak each letter and word until the text and the image were cohesive. Finally, a touch of red was added between each word to make it come alive.
The Wild Edge: For this piece, I wanted to see how far I could push the limits of readability and legibility without destroying it completely. I varied the size of each letter, left very little, if any, space between words and took wide latitude with each letter’s placement within the text. I hope you’ll be intrigued enough to read the text as written, but fear not, the full, unabridged, Tom Robbins’ sentence is shown below. My work was also inspired by the work of Japanese calligrapher Hiroko Shimizu. “If you take any art, any discipline, any skill, take it and push it as far as it will go, push it beyond where it has ever been before, push it to the wildest edge of edges, then you force it into the realm of magic.”
Life: The background was art was created in a workshop. The graphite lettering was added later. “I live my life in growing orbits which move out over this wonderous world.”
"The Wild Edge"
"Deep in Their Roots"
The love of drawing, painting and graphic design are all evident in my work. My subject matter can range from a very deep and personal expression of ideas to more traditional watercolor landscapes.
Art Noveau with its organic line work, simplified colors and stylized portraiture has always appealed to me. Impressionisms’ vivid colors, spontaneity and loose representations serve as a vehicle for expressing inner feelings.
Watercolor is my preferred medium, often times accompanied with pen and ink line work.
I enjoy the process or ritual of soaking and stretching watercolor paper. Using ink along with paint satisfies the need to “draw”. The nature of watercolor leaves no room for reworking areas that may be dissatisfying to the artist.
One has to become comfortable with giving up control and letting the paint do its job. Work at not working, loosen up and put aside expectations. Some describe my work as moody, or illustrative, as in a book or graphic novel.
All I know is that painting is my “flow” and drawing can occupy me for hours.
I am constantly surprised at the end product as it never turns out as I imagine. It is as if someone else took over and painted what they thought would look best, which is fine with me. Most of the time. What’s life without a little mystery?