Location: Los Altos, CA
Featured Work: Light #2
Describe your featured work:
Light #2 represents a series of collages using paper that I have been working on since 2010. I do not begin a collage with an idea of how the finished product will look; rather the inspiration lies in the materials themselves – their color, texture, pattern, and the ways I can manipulate them, such as cutting, tearing, and hole-punching. I begin with a few pieces of paper from my stash that I manipulate and build into a composition that pleases me, rejecting some papers and adding others as I go. I wait until I am satisfied with the composition before I begin to fix the pieces in place, first taking a reference photo with my iPad and then carefully removing and laying the pieces aside in reverse order. I reconstruct the composition using a variety of adhesives, frequently adhering only portions of a shape to the layer beneath it, leaving actual air space between layers. Over the years, common elements have emerged, including layering, repeated vertical and horizontal linear forms, circles, and texture. In Light #2, the soft shimmer and sparkle of the wavy lines in the background and the sinuous curve described by the double circles invite me into this image. Unlike others of my collages – such as Barred, shown below – where the linear shapes read to me as bars forbidding access, here they suggest windows allowing me to see the glory lying beyond, and their ladder-likeness encourages me that there is a way to reach that glory.
I work on multiple series of works simultaneously, each defined by parameters that provide structure and limitations within which I can freely play. Inspired by such abstracted elements as shape, color, and texture, and the many ways I can alter and use them to invent compositions, I typically create non-representational imagery. This is true of the collage series represented by Light #2. In another series, Roadside Artifacts, although I use objects chosen because of the abstracted qualities they possess, these objects bring to the finished work their own history and meaning that influence viewers’ understanding of it. I don’t create work that explicitly speaks about God; I trust that the work of the Holy Spirit within me and my desire to serve God result in work that points to Him. I believe that I honor Him by joyfully using my talents and gifts to create art and a church arts ministry.
What are you making now?
I continue to work within my ongoing series. Roadside Artifacts are works that use objects I pick up alongside places I travel, especially curvy mountain roads I bicycle on weekly. The latter yield items lost or thrown out of car windows like toys and small liquor bottles, and, sadly, the remnants of motorcycle and car accidents. So far, these works have been small – generally 12”x12” – but I am looking to make larger ones. A series that explores my family of origin draws from the intriguing watchmaking tools and supplies that I inherited from my father and gorgeous craft supplies like ribbon, lace, and gems my mother left me, and examines our family relationships as well as my father’s life and personality. The never-ending supply of new wallpaper samples keeps the collage series going strong, and I am experimenting with ways to incorporate paint as well.
I belong to CIVA because
My understanding of what artmaking is about has expanded and matured as I’ve seen what other artists are doing and hearing them explain their processes. My confidence in my own artmaking has grown as I’ve received positive and constructive encouragement from so many others in personal interactions and after presenting in the slide shows. Hearing from and interacting with people approaching art through other disciplines has given me a larger perspective about the nature and role of art. Those I work with and minister to in my leadership role in my church’s visual arts ministry have benefited from insight and ideas I have gained from others who lead similar works around the country. CIVA is home for me, whether at conferences or through online connections; I have felt included, appreciated, respected, and part of the Body of Christ in CIVA.
I grew up near Vancouver, Canada, behind the small jewelry store owned by my mother and watchmaker father. I earned a B.A. in psychology from University of B.C., then followed my husband to Boston where he studied at MIT, and I made art, studying briefly at Massachusetts College of Art. In 1980, we moved to the Bay Area, where I have raised three daughters, continued artmaking, and exhibited in group and solo exhibits in various local venues. I also co-lead a Visual Arts Ministry at my church that offers art/craft workshops and art exhibits in the Sanctuary.