I have always painted nature. For me, there was never a need to search for a subject. ( My first exhibited work Tree, painted at the age of five, was part of a traveling exhibition of children’s art that the Philadelphia Museum of Art curated). My search has always been for particular locations, places that begged recording.
Painting alongside fields, in woods, at stream’s edge, in solitary places, it is the dynamic rhythms of nature, its changing lights, and weather that engage me. I find a kinship with a long tradition of painters like Winslow Homer, Andrew Wyeth, and Georgia O’Keeffe, who found a source for personal works in the landscape. For me, as for them, nature is the source of art. I try to bring to life in my paintings an equivalent of the intensity that I find in nature.
Japanese art, with its attention to the natural world, inspires my paintings of birds. In that art, pared-down forms… a bird, a tree, a mountain, are shown against neutral, open spaces. The isolation of the subject singles it out and confirms its importance in the natural order.
The four long crow panels are an homage to a pair of seventeenth-century Japanese screens in the collection of the Seattle Museum. In them, black crows stream as jagged shapes against flat gilded grounds.
Travels in Italy revived childhood dreams of fairytale castles and mythic narratives where birds speak, horses fly, and sculpture sometimes comes to life. In my painting series Invisible Gardens I have tried to evoke some of the fantasy and mystery these trips engendered.