My studio practice is defined by the exploration of painting media in the broadest sense. My paintings are informed by a robust exploration of media, tools and application techniques. I have drawn from western historical techniques from Medieval silverpoint drawing to mid 20th century Surrealist techniques of Decalcomania or the transfer of paint on glass to paper. I have studied and modified Japanese resist dying techniques and Indian Block printing to experiment with pattern and indirected methods to explore pattern.
I am disarmed by textiles because they so similar to painting on canvas and yet so tactile. In the last year or so, I have experimented on building out my canvases with modeling paste and other three dimensional elements. In my newest work I use tufting techniques to represent elaborate forms, and explore complex patterns and hair and fur like textures.
My tufted portraits celebrate the lives of local rescue animals and adoption narratives. By mixing disparate motifs and media, my art aims to reframe the use and meaning of animal bodies in our culture.
Trained as a figure painter, my human subjects’ textile rich environments were featured in my early paintings. As I copied vintage scarves and pastoral scenes on Toile de Jouy and Peacock chenille bedspreads, I became interested in the use of both animal imagery as well as animal print patterns. I studied how luxury brands used animals to symbolize pedigree, luxury and colonial exoticism. In all, most animal representation reveres land owners’ material wealth and displays its literal body or skin as a souvenir of foreign leisure.
My goal is to update the idea of the bucolic textile or animal pelt rug into something both joyful and critical. I aim to refocus representational ownership to explore adoption narratives and to confront the contradictory beliefs about animal bodies in our culture.
For the “Belly of the Beast” project I create tufted paintings to produce low relief full body portraits of rescue animals sleeping on their backs. Tufting, or looping yarn though a backing cloth is commonly used in carpet making. I use a combination of thousands of loop pile stitches at various heights and cut pile loops to create a velvety lush or fuzzy textures ideal to describe fur and complex texture such as a brindle coat or tabby stripes. Through exaggerated color, rich texture and the animal pose itself, skin rug transforms into an interspecies interconnected meditation.