I have always been a lover of light and these days now find myself a chaser of shadows.
The human body is the most divine, unique, and dynamic form on earth to a figure artist such as myself. It is strong yet tender, bold yet reserved, and the way we adorn and hold our bodies is the dominant way in which we express ourselves to the world.
During the beginning of my 'Shadow Play' journey I found myself exploring ways in which I could embrace the body's delicious curves or celebrate its subtle folds in any kind of way that hadn't been done a thousand times before. A few choice mornings spent under broad palm leaves as well as newly thrifted lace tops worn on piercingly sunny days gave me just the spark of inspiration I needed to embark on this collection. Since then images of shadows kaleidoscoping across brazen skin accented with the lush flora of my home of O’ahu sweep through my mind as quickly as I can collect the variety of muses needed to help me realize these visions.
Once the oil painting part of these works is complete, choosing to portray my figures in a shadow box format hearkens back to one of my favorite childhood hobbies of making 3-dimensional scenes out of shoe boxes featuring tiny cardboard tableaus of everyday life as well as imagined places. Carefully crafted paper people, scenery, and objects would be posted throughout decorated shoe box 'rooms’ creating tiny microcosms for my imaginative mind and delicate fingers to play.
Along with my own simple mock-ups, a true love of shadow box art was born from my late assemblage-artist father whose materials of choice were random, often broken, found colorful objects including hundreds of plastic children's toys collected while on early morning runs along Sullivan’s Island Beach. Much to my childhood delight, he would create strange and sometimes fantastical miniature scenes out of the toys and detritus he found most interesting, which he tucked away in little enclaves throughout the inside and outside of his rustic two-room beach cottage, only to be discovered by my curious explorations upon each visit to his home.
In the back of my mind I have fantasized ever since about combining my love of fine art figure painting with the small found objects that I also could not keep myself from collecting here and there throughout my life. I am finally and blissfully finding the vehicle to put these two passions together using acrylic resin poured over my figurative oil on linen paintings then layered with mixed media including dead insects, found objects, and both natural and man-made detritus. My wish is that my viewers feel the same sense of wonderment and curiosity peering into these works that I felt when encountering my father’s peculiar miniature worlds oh so many years ago…