Having originally studied painting and printmaking at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in the 1980s, I have returned only to visual arts in the past several years now. To me art is about improvisation, exploration, and discovery of things I continue to not know and can’t name. I delve into paint or clay, with as little preconception as possible, and follow what emerges from that initial chaos. As Stephen Nachmanovitch (in Free Play: Improvisation In Life And Art) writes, “the heart of improvisation is the free play of consciousness as it draws, writes, paints, and plays the raw material emerging from the unconscious. Such play entails a certain degree of risk.” The more risk I allow, the stronger the work, as I have learned.
The desert canyons that I walk in, inspire me, but not so much about their outer appearances as the spirit which moves through them. The ancient presences which permeate them: the magic in the rock art, and in the unseen energies. As was the case with surrealism and abstract expressionism, I seek to approach each piece unknowing and surrendered to the unconscious and archaic impulses within my psyche, as are also reflected by the land around me. In the 21st century, we are still connected with the Earth, the Sky, the archaic as well as the modern aspects of our psyches. As such, making art, as has been suggested, is a shamanic practice, a movement between worlds, bringing the unseen into the seen. It is a remembrance or reemergence of our ancient future.