Our society seems to equate beauty with eternal, unblemished youth. This myopic view overlooks the inherent beauty of all stages of life, replete with blemishes, wrinkles, and the graceful acceptance of the patina of age.
The primary focus of my work is the full cycle of life — birth, life, entropy, decay, rebirth — observed and expressed through individual studies of my subjects at points throughout their lives or through time sequences of the same subject.
The energy of new growth or the softening, bruised fruit and fading flowers both tell an equally beautiful story. Tulips with rangy stems and fallen petals; buds about to bloom; burst seed pods that have launched most of their prodigy; dandelions gone to seed — all serve to convey my reverence for these subjects in every stage of their lives.
My current subject matter is largely botanical — fruits, vegetables, bulbs, flowers, seed pods. I choose these because their entire life cycle can be observed in a few short weeks; a growing season; or a few short days at the height of summer. My subjects could just as easily be (and have been) objects that have a ‘life of their own’ — a pair of shoes or other attire — objects that start their life crisp and new; become worn in; then worn out and finally discarded or kept for sentimental rather than utility value.
My panels combine collage, acrylic and oil pastel. The collage elements are a mix of botanical details from biology textbooks, random finds and Chinese ceremonial papers and calendar pages. While the Chinese text on these calendar pages are meant to provide individuals with daily guidance, for me they are abstract elements for colour and texture. The scale and graphic nature of the large arabic numbers are a crisp counterpoint to the organic quality of my paintings. This artifact of another culture’s means of marking the passage of time, reinforces the ticking clock. I paint my organic subjects using warm colour, rich textures and layering to suggest the underlying theme of history, time passing, and life cycles.