I have painted in abstraction for the last 22 years, except when I enrolled at Florence Academy and the Atelier of Classical Realism. There, I painstakingly drew identical images of body parts in the Charles Bargue Method—a precise system dictating drawing to exact specifications to the micro-millimeter. I would work for hours with a graphite pencil in intense visual focus—concentrating on a black box, only to have my work erased entirely by my teacher! My native response to that extreme zen visual training, was constant struggle, with curious awareness that time and space seemed to vanish, becoming the work. I learned that the Greeks call that experience “eudamonia”, which means total mind-body engagement, and in my case, that profound experiential discovery became the ultimate platform to create, and soulstraction was born as realism’s abstract twin, in total alignment with my soul’s expression.
I wield brushes loaded with oil, tempera, acrylic, Indian ink, found objects, and sometimes the dust on the studio or forest floor. I have welded, done mosaic, sculpted with wood and wire, designed jewelry, done interior design, makeup and style-coaching, life-coaching, landscape design, and more.
While I paint, I focus on what it FEELS like to be made of particulate matter. Our bodies, psyches, the materials we work with, the food we eat, our stars, planets and our universe are also made of the same molecular matter. I puzzle on universal issues—like how The great source of life is also it’s extinguisher and recycler. I also think of geological time and the arc of eternity, which we get to be in for our own lives, which are happening every moment of our aliveness. Our pysical and metaphysical existence is equivalent to less than the blink of an eye, which is pretty abstract, endlessly interesting, and eternally inspiring. My painting flows from the same construct, and once I’m IN it, the coolest things happen artistically and otherwise. I feel privileged to be alive and be an artist.
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