My Journey

Calla Lily, digital photograph, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. April 2001

Photography is what first drew me into the world of  imagery, and photographic images still influence much of my work.

When I began my work with pastels in the summer of 2002, the artistry of image composition held a fascination for me.  I wanted to go deeper – to explore the texture, emotion and psyche of the natural world.

It was this photograph-from a weekday trip to the Arboretum in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park-that sparked my conception of “World within Worlds” ideas which flowers suggest.  I had just completed an extensive on-line project of California wildflowers for a local environmental nonprofit.

So I suspect that most artists begin their exploration through drawing – a simplification of the image to its essential shapes & lines.  What happens when an artist begins from the detail and complexity of the photographic image, where the process of creating art is to simplify the image, remove the distractions of detail?

Detail - Blue Vase

Detail from Blue Vase, chalk pastels on paper, 2007

A few years ago I took an Introduction to Drawing class at a local community college here in Seattle.  Pencils.  Sketch pads.  I was hopelessly self-conscious, while even the other beginners in the class were much more comfortable to see and draw what they saw.  I could not.

On week three, I brought in my cheap little set of Prismacolor pastels.  And from that point on in the class, my work flowed.  It wasn’t the medium per se that was throwing me (pastels versus pencil).  It was the notion that drawing was the only way to approach art.  In that class, I found myself rejecting my previous conceptions about the meaning of drawing.  Because in my brain, the relationship between images wasn’t reducible to lines.  In the natural world (the world that I photographed), there were textures, shadows, gradations of color.  But not line shapes.

Blue Vase is the work that resulted from that day in drawing class.  I didn’t really draw the images, but re-photographed them, region by region, color across color, until the flowers & vase began to emerge from the page.  This was a totally different experience for me than “drawing” had ever been.


2 Responses to “My Journey”

  1. I love your site. Keep it up !

  2. Thanks for the encouragement. I’m looking forward to the next 85 pieces.

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