While I know it is the ultimate cliché to state “I have always wanted to be an artist”, but this is one of my earliest memories. In kindergarten, at the age of 5 or 6, I had the opportunity to dress up for career day. I knew precisely, that I wanted to be an artist.
Being an artist has been (and still is) my passion and strongest internal-positive drive for success and personal fulfillment. Using my creativity will always be an important aspect of who I am. Whether that creativity is being utilized in creating fine art, crafts, gardening, cooking or any other outlet. Through a lifetime of curiosity and perpetual learning, which has only intensified as I have gotten older, I have discovered that my diversity of talents and interests actually classifies me more as a multipotentialite.
My hobbies and interests range from art (printmaking, painting, drawing, pen & ink, collage, sculpture and mixed-media) to nature (gardening, composting, recycling, environmental issues, and birding) to science (earth, life, physical and STEM/steAm) to cooking to kids (teaching art and science with a creative emphasis). While all these topics may seem to have a vast range, the one common denominator is creativity and art.
Artists typically work in one style or genre. I equate this to a ‘single-string’ or linear career path. Over time, by developing the same recognizable artistic style, it will build into a thick rope or even a ‘braid’ – if an artist pursues multiple categories of genre or techniques. The conceptual reality, is that it is still the same single line that could eventually unravel.
By incorporating eclectic interests from my background, I no longer have one or two strings, but a multitude of stings that are woven together. The structure resembles more of a thick spider web. While some areas are a dense thatch of knowledge, talents and skills, others areas are translucent patches waiting to be enhanced by further learning. And I am excited to learn as much as I can from the world around me.
While I have lived my entire life in the suburbs, I find myself in a tug-of-war between the desire to represent rural and urban spaces in my art. Like a moth drawn to a flame, I am enticed by the thrill that big cities have to offer (especially New York City). Architecture, with its rigidity of lines repeating patterns, and design elements that exhibit character or signs of decay, provide me with the most interesting material to work with. Broken down fences represent stories to be told. While my cityscapes typically lack people in them, they are still implied through the architecture and man-made structures (such as light posts, crosswalk signals, traffic lights and one-way signs). The “one-way” sign has become a distinguished feature in my fine art prints. Power lines and fences contain and reinforce the architecture.
Opposite from the allure of the intensity of the urban thrill ride is my desire to be one with nature. My mother grew up on a small farm in upstate New York and I spent many childhood summer vacations on Lake Champlain in the Adirondacks. It is from these experiences that I gained a respect for plants and nature. I also learned how we can impact the environment (in both positive and negative ways) and how we can improve the community and world we live in.
Many of my paintings and murals contain references of plants and animals. I also have a series of lithographs that reference my grandparent’s barn. I guess you could say I like working with the extremes despite the fact that I live in typical “suburbia.”