It’s been said that “every picture tells a story”. The inspiration for my acrylic and mixed media paintings comes from moments of my life that, when woven together, tell my story. An important piece of my story that has greatly influenced my art is a long career in international development that has allowed me to work, travel and live in many countries around the world. I have seen incredible sights, met people from many different cultures and had extraordinary experiences.
Throughout the years I have documented many of the most memorable moments through sketches and photography, and through personal writings. These are collected in moleskin journals filled with pencil, charcoal and ink sketches, in a computer file entitled “Possible ideas for paintings” that contains travel photos grouped together by country, and in now-faded personal journals that house my first impressions of life outside my own country. This ‘ensemble’ of documentation provides a multitude of images, colors and experiences into which I delve for inspiration.
I look to past experience, not to tell the same story…but to linger over the moment lived….to see things that I missed the first time around….to remember not only the scene that I captured in a photo, a sketch or a journal entry…but to force my mind to look again….to really see, to understand more of the story. In the process of painting, I am able to go past the images that have been etched into my mind. I recall not only what I saw, but what I felt and what was going on around me…..a light breeze that was blowing as I was sketching in Paris at a sidewalk café… the heat of the sun on my back as I painted in Aswan. The same moment, but now experienced in a different way, perhaps an elevation of consciousness that allows a dance with form, color and texture . I also enjoy painting from life and am inspired by landscapes and flowers, in which I try to capture the beauty of nature and the movement in growth.
My work is semi-figurative, meaning there is a usually a recognizable narrative in my paintings that also may include exaggerated form and distorted perspective that make for a more interesting composition. I enjoy working on large canvases to more easily explore texture and form. The colors I use depend on the geographical region that serves as inspiration for a particular painting ( pastel colors for the South of France; deep red, yellow and orange for Morocco; etc).
Through my painting I understand more about the moments that make up my story. My work gives viewers a glimpse of what my story is…and hopefully connects in some way to their own.