included in this drawing exhibition fall into four separate but integrally
related series that have developed over the past 7 years. The drawings
are intimate, representational pieces drawn in gouache and graphite
with an eye for detail and application of visual metaphor. I have been
working on them slowly, at a mother’s pace, for the past 6 years
as I balance a life of family, teaching and artmaking.
series I refer to as Mother’s Work or The Y-stick Series. As I
re-entered the world of drawing in the late 1990’s after the birth
of my three children, I found myself drawing from treasured objects
and twigs found and handed to me for safe keeping by my young children.
The rare beauty yet mundane nature of these objects obsessed me. In
this series the twig is symbolic of the letter form ‘Y’
embedded in my first name, the proverbial ‘Y in the fork in the
road’, the question ‘why’ asked so often by children
as well as the visual suggestion of a figure intrinsic to the ‘Y’
form itself. Often the ‘Y’ stick is representative of a
particular person or is used to create a combination of images carefully
placed to suggest specific relationships and life stresses. The sticks,
stones, seeds and bones lovingly rendered in the drawings have all been
found and handed to me for safe keeping by my children as our family
has walked the landscape of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Montana, South and
North Dakota. They not only record the personal landscape of our lives
but the natural landscape we have moved through.
series I refer to as 100 Daily Blessings. These drawings also use the
simple treasures found by my children as subject matter. The exquisite
yet commonplace forms of stones, seeds, sticks, found bones, and rusted
fragments are composedonto twelve narrow drawings that allow the artist
and viewer to reflect and meditate on the blessings and beauty available
in the simplest of natural and man-made forms. The gouache and graphite
drawings use psychological space and careful placement to address issues
of parenting, love, respect, and fear as well as using simple and honest
observation to replicate the elegance of the objects. The drawings touch
on the spiritual and religious as they echo the call for ‘100
Daily Blessings’, that honors and recognizes the Orthodox requirement
for daily blessings of the most mundane details of living.
The Lamentations series that followed uses a similar format and inspiration
to the earlier work but physically enlarges and psychologically deepens.
Composed of eight gouache and graphite drawings, the Lamentations series
uses visual metaphor in a tightly controlled psychological space to
address issues of loss, fear, displacement, pain, and death and the
human hunger for recovery and renewal. Careful observation is used to
discover and replicate the aura of the specifically selected metaphorical
objects and to create an overall sense of menacing and tenuous peace,
meaning, and order. As the drawings touch on human emotion and conflict
they recall spiritual and religious history as they echo the poetic
and desperate Lamentations of Jeremiah.
for us, our eyes as yet failed for our vain help: in our watching we
have watched for a nation that could not save us.” Lamentations
of Jeremiah, Chapter 5
joy of our heart is ceased; our dance is turned into mourning.”
Lamentations of Jeremiah, Chapter 6
and ongoing work is evidenced in an as yet un-named drawing series of
minute and easily neglected items. These pieces of naturally cast off
debris come together as a patchwork of animated and lively object drawings
in graphite and gouache on tinted papers. The meaning is not clear to
me as yet. The patchwork like other mother’s work is ongoing.
images from show ...
artist's bio ...