Early on I loved taking pictures and making art. I took my camera with me wherever I went. For years it was “straight” photography. And then after I learned to print my black and whites in the darkroom, I started doing hand coloring, collage on top of my photographic prints, photo montage and photograms. Sometime during all this I got an MFA (1990) from the San Francisco Art Institute. I was constantly in the darkroom and was showing my work nationally.
After years in the dark room, I wanted some daylight. So, I was going to take a Photoshop class – which seemed like the right direction. But while I was waiting for the Photoshop class to begin, I started experimenting with painting and collage. That cast a light on something else I love – working with my hands. So, I got started. I found that what I was doing had a lot in common with my photography. This included subject matter and ways of working. I found that in putting collage materials and other mixed media into my acrylic paintings, I was organizing the elements in the same way I did when doing photomontages and photograms. This was primarily abstract work, something I had been drawn to since high school.
I had already been doing photomontage and hand colored photographs along with my black and white photography, so it seemed very natural to move to doing collage with mixed media. I eventually gravitated to using photographs in my collages and then was reminded how much I still love photography. So, I began working on a way to combine my two loves. There is a big mix moving back and forth between using photographs in the collages and learning a new way to work through digital photography alone, producing digital work that resembles abstract painting. This is my evolved and evolving work. I now show my art primarily in the Bay Area, with emphasis on the San Francisco Women’s Art Gallery.
I also react to different social issues. It helps my outlook if I work it out with my art. A few years back I did a series on the “Patriot Act” having to do with surveillance and invasion of privacy. During the recent election year I started working on a series I call, “Patterns.” This is based on my reactions to the misogyny going during the past presidential election and the fight for women to break through the patterns assigned to them by the Patriarchy. My most recent work is based on the concept of ownership of land. It combines a love of the earth and its formations and the ethics of making land that has evolved into its present form over millions of years with no labor other than its own existence being turned into a commodity.
Then again, I also look for solace and peace and try to achieve that through my art work. That is a nice place to be.