My migrations across this huge land have sparked an abiding interest in formations of the land—observing the effects of wind, waters, rivers, the thrusting of tectonic plates, the nature of geological time, questions of scale, and, finally, man's hand in changing and marking the land. Web of Life Theory and Chaos Theory have influenced my perspective; these theories describe a connectivity of all life and patterns that transcend all manner of classifications of life. Questions of scale become a matter of personal perspective or attitude.
After more than 20 years of commuting between San Francisco and Chicago, my interest in geologic time has continued to grow. The unique patterns visible from the air reveal an ever-changing landscape—water seeking its own and changing path, the flatness of the Midwest giving way to the endless variety of hills, escarpments, valleys, mountain ranges pushing up with sharp or eroded ridges. The textures and colors arising from changing mineral sources, patterns of erosion on the uplifted land, changing river beds, cast shadows of the sun or cloud patterns filtering the light down onto the floor below—are an on-going revelation of the forces brought to bear on this earth, the ever turning cosmic kaleidoscope. Slow geologic and atmospheric forces moving across the land are in contrast to human activity. Man imposes his grid, his geometry on the land, dividing and parceling. He builds his towers, bridges, freeways, power grids piercing the horizon line, also dividing and defining the land.
The same forces brought to bear on the land are carving and transforming our interior landscape. My paintings are a reflection of the emotional state of being the landscape evokes; they are a description of the synchronicity when the inner and outer worlds coalesce in moments of acknowledged truth and understanding. Some of the landscapes are expressions of the loneliness and waste of contemporary existence. Others reflect the epiphanies we experience when we know the land restores us. Each experience of the land exists side by side in our lives and our psyche.
I paint in watercolors, pastel and oils, finding that each medium offers a particular vehicle for expression. I also vary the scale of my work, finding that small, jewel-like paintings capture the truth of the moment as well as larger, more monumental works. The small works are an acknowledgment of the importance of private moments; my larger works are an invitation to enter into the mystery of a larger world. In painting, particularly in oils, I am engaged with the process of applying the paint in layers, often thin layers that transform the painting again and again over time. So the process of painting becomes a reflection of the process of transformation that is occurring on the land and also in me. All of this increases the mystery of understanding the process of life. All is becoming and unfolding.