In my recent mixed media works I explore a theme of journey, belonging and separation, the loss of the familiar and adjustment to new conditions, a physical navigation of territories and journeys of self-discovery.
In this series I’m crossing a boundary between drawing, painting and sculpture. These works are hybrids of visually accurate representation and physical process of ripping, braking and constructing. I create them using packing materials which represent moving, yarn and thread which represent connection, knots for remembering and ripped areas for time and memories. I rework photographs and drawings with acrylic mediums, leaving a skin-like texture. They become "plastic duplicates" of memories, objects, and places. In these journeys through the memories, ordinary objects become transformed into precious carriers of experience and emotion. The surface is sealed with a coating of acrylic medium for decay resistance. But metaphorically the process of applying layers of the medium represents my personal layered world where different places and cultures are connected to each other.
The works relate to each other, but each individual piece has its own story. Some works speak about actual journeys and my experience traveling the globe, particular locations and their effect on my emotions. Others don’t involve geographic travel, but rather relate to personal journey and exploring identity over the years, finding yourself at a crossroads, journey in search for expressing yourself in the deepest way. A journey of being an artist, journey of ups and downs, of persistent search through creation.
I believe the theme addressed in my artworks extends beyond the gallery walls. In this series I created a journey, but I don’t want to verbalize its route. I invite the viewers to ask themselves questions about their past and future courses. I want to engage a conversation and awake in viewers interest in discovering and exploring paths of their personal journeys.
I am often asked if I am a photographer who paints or a painter who takes photographs--to which I reply, “I am both.”
“Road Maps: Navigating Moments” is a series of abstract paintings, photographs and mixed media pieces. As a photographer, I often experiment with various processes that I can incorporate with my photos to create mixed media pieces.
My journey to paint began as a starting point where I would paint backgrounds for my image transfers with either acrylic paint, hot wax, or cold wax and oil paint. The painted backgrounds were originally intended to be a substrate with the idea of adding a photo that would become the focal point of the piece. However, as I became fully engaged in creating the paintings, I realized their totality as completed pieces.
My photography became a learning tool to document my progress. I photograph each painting and its details as it progresses, so that I can study the lighting, texture and composition. As I photograph the details of the paintings; the parts often appear as visually satisfying as the sum of the entire painting. I discover that it is often difficult to see what speaks to me more-- the photos or the painting—and realize that maybe I need to show both.
My process is innovative and exciting to me as I paint and take photos of portions of the painting’s progression. As I focus on the details of the paintings, I capture small slices of life of the painting. Color and texture emerge in the details that are not as readily apparent in looking at a piece in its totality.
I use acrylic paint or cold wax and oil, and apply the paint with a palette knife instead of a brush which leads me to the core of the painting where layers of paint can be scraped and manipulated in multi-combinations of a given color scheme. I combine colors of wet paint and blend them directly on the canvas to see how the action of the knife creates a shifting shape and form. The paint changes constantly giving an element of surprise as the colors blend into each other.
I listen to music while I paint so I can experience the sound as well as the sight of the colors. The process becomes meditative as I immerse myself in the colors and texture of the paint, and like the repetition of a mantra I discover a new way to my path of creativity.