As a former copy editor, I find the concept of editing—working to make something more precise—to be a useful framework with universal application. I love precision, delighting in words, images, tastes, and so on that convey the essence of their intent. I appreciate that precision can be an iterative process—shedding and reorganizing until a thing is “just so” takes time and practice, and sometimes you are in the weeds until the core of the thing becomes clear.
Realizing that art—and, specific to me, collage—can be iterative was liberating. It has allowed me to enjoy the process of making without worrying about what happens. I feel less pressure to render something perfectly every time and take comfort in the fact that anything that didn’t come out “right” is fodder for something to be made later. Nothing in my creative process is wasted—I practice my craft while creating raw materials for future work. I am comfortable giving my pieces time to emerge out of the right conditions, be it a cast-off watercolor whose pattern is perfect in a new collage, or a flash of inspiration that comes while playing with colorful scraps.
Subject-wise, I am inspired by what I call “the imperfect geometry of nature.” In nature, you find beautiful geometric forms—one leaf of an oak tree may be absolutely symmetrical, but not all of that tree’s leaves are the same, nor are they naturally placed in neat rows. In the repetition of an organic pattern, there is a wide range of extrapolation on any given shape, yet the whole thing hangs together as one gorgeous composition—wild and imperfect and cohesive all at once.
This dovetails with my love for abstract art—its paradoxical confined wildness and its expressive reinterpretation of form. I love to see how shape, composition, color, and balance can be configured to be pleasing to the eye, without having to be a literal representation of a visual something. Like nature, abstract art can be wild and imperfect, yet wholly cohesive.
I am a self-identified "art-school dropout" who came back around to art after a 15-year break. In between, I lived overseas, earned an advanced degree in public health, worked in communications, had a child, and became a home organizer and a parent educator.
My inner critic would describe my art style as "Unitarian-church chic," but my prefrontal cortex would say that I love to organize wild, mismatched pieces into something that makes you instinctively feel right. As for photography, I learned how to frame a shot and develop photos in the darkroom at the tender age of 6. I come from a long line of hobbyist photographers, whose well-composed, now-vintage images I have been reworking in myriad ways. Additionally, I was a subscriber to World Magazine as a child and loved the abstract photos on the back—I am pleased when I take a close-up, abstracted photo of something and someone asks me, "What is that?"