There is an inner compulsion for me to create something and I would not be happy if I did not make art. It is a way to connect with an audience who appreciates the narrative occupation of visual storytelling.
Visual Art affects each person differently. Experiences lend each of us a recognition of something that provokes an emotional response to an image. My portfolio demonstrates my own experiences, methodology and technology and it provides a private means of reflection on my own message and my initial concept.
Many things inspire me to create art: visual images on Pinterest, natural and cultural histories, my own memories or dreams, and historic portrait paintings and human facial expressions. These artifacts provide a creative well from which an idea immerges and that I can act upon. Literature, mythology, fiction and poetry can stimulate my creativity.
One of my favorite poets, Robert Bly, has composed mythological poems containing some deep image that Bly says “originates from a precise geographical area of the brain.“ It is this deep image I have a longing for... to find it In figurative sculpture.
I am self taught in my method of connecting shapes into a form by using simple hand-building techniques. Attending workshops taught by local artists in the Carolinas has offered method and technique I have transferred into my own work such as the “sweet potato” method demonstrated by a Brevard, NC wildlife artist, Christina Kosiba. Attending workshops, practicing repeatedly and sharing a love for animals among open studio members has given me confidence in making animals. While I attend to these creatures, they continue reinforcing their universal, cross-cultural significance to me. I think I understand them better now because I have been looking at them, sketching their features and studying their behavioral characteristics for a long time.
“The artist’ vocation is to send light into the human heart.” - George Sand
Light is an element of all art. I can sense this light’s appearance and essence while sculpting an animal such as a bird, a cat, a hare or hawk. The light could be the early-morning light through a window, or the late-afternoon light from the west falling across the floor. Or, the light might just be from the spirit of the animal I am creating by hand with clay or paper pulp as the animal reveals itself to me. And with this light comes the joy in connecting with the animal’s life, it’s gesture, expression and its spirit. This connection is where I find the most joy.
Collecting or creating animal and wildlife art forms, without doubt, enriches our lives.
It’s important to me to know who we are here with on earth. I can spend hours and days on my back porch watching bluebirds care for their young. It‘s amazing how similar animals are to humans. They express emotions, they have bonds, they play, they compete, they know who their friends and rivals are, they try to stay alive, find food and shelter, and raise young for the next generation. Animals enrich our lives tremendously if we have an open mind and heart.
Animals, both domestic and wild, appeal to me in art. To begin an armature for a hare or a horse, research efforts and keen observation help me become familiar with an animal’s countenance, conformation, expression and perceived feelings.
Capturing an animal’s expression of emotion, awareness, or consciousness brings me into the light of spiritual connection with that animal. I think this is what I want to share with people who are like me, who love animals.
Myth and poetry represent a resevoir of vertical thinking, which we could also call longing and gratitude to ancesters. We need that gratitude desperately. — Robert Bly
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November 4, 2017