Behind the Collection
Drawing is the heart of my work and I explore images most deeply through simple observation and execution.
The decision to move from observation to image making can be as simple as using a camera during a foray, or sitting down and making sketches on location. Drawing on site or later in the studio provides the opportunity for more astute observation as your hand responds to the mind’s guidance through the object’s details and ultimately its overall form. In that practice we get to know the object more deeply and it takes on a new life of its own, beyond the real thing.
The romantic impulse to make art is initially inspired by the experience of the phenomena, and again after much deliberation about how to translate that experience for someone who wasn’t there to experience it.
The objects I drew and painted from nature for ten years were attempts to share my interest in objects that seemed indicative of a beautiful order as they grew and were alive in the world. I wanted to share that order and its unique form.
Ravens in our valley are a constant part of life. Take a walk and the sound of the raven, in various forms, will be heard—in the trees, flying overhead and sometimes swooping down and taunting the dog. I see the raven as one of the most accessible creatures that reflects the natural world and is willing to interact with us.
The compost pile is a valued asset to many birds, especially those that overwinter. The ravens fly by our home as they go from the garden up into the forest with various treats from the compost. Intelligent, playful, stunningly black and strong, these birds are part of everyday and hold power in our setting. Native American myth says Raven brought us light!
The raven bundle, which I have painted and combined with river teeth into a full bird, is an object I found near Sitka Center when I was helping a friend teach a workshop. I consider it a gift from that forest and I have drawn and painted the raven bundle for over ten years. A sculpture is forthcoming after a number of previous attempts.