Like an evaporated mirage,
like a tree of gold in a dream,
like a magic show in the midst of a crowd -
you run blind after what is unreal.
- the Buddha
My paintings are informed by Buddhist emptiness teachings which posit that nothing possesses inherent existence; everything is dependent on its parts, on causes and conditions and on the mind. This concept plays out in my work through the reciprocation between the background and foreground and in the interconnectedness of the work’s elements. Layers, lines and shapes are distinct but not one more important than another. Through the use of cropping and carefully chosen color relationships, the space in my paintings appears simultaneously deep and flat. I allow the paint to be expressionistic in some areas and controlled in others. These seemingly contradictory aspects of the work refer to non-duality. I complete the connection with a visual give and take where opposite forces are interdependent.
My work often raises the question of how it was made and I remain enigmatic in my response. How the work is created, I want to remain a mystery.
My work has undergone a profound change due to the Buddha's teachings on emptiness. Only a few years ago my paintings were bold, hard-edge abstractions with strong figure/ground reversals and intense often complementary color relationships. I have recently strayed away from that aesthetic toward one that feels more in line with where I am in my dharma practice and how I view the world.
I now make images that express the magic of a neither-real-nor-not-real imaginal sensibility and the delicate beauty of flowers. There is a tenderness that I feel in relationship to these almost unfathomable creatures and by painting them I am creating an image of the deva realm in which they dwell. There is no place for the solidity of hard edges in this kingdom for here nothing inherently exists and everything appears only as a dream-like vision.
Feminist Works on Paper
The subjects of my works on paper are feminist icons - women who have pushed the boundaries of our culture and have helped shape society through their work as politicians, activists, artists, intellectuals and ordinary citizens standing up for their values and beliefs. This body of work grows out of a sense of urgency that stemmed from the recent announcement of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, the impending confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh and the resulting possibility of the reversal of Roe v. Wade.
The women in my works on paper are depicted as strong and confident, yet the gestural marks threaten the obliterate their presence on the page.