The tree has always been with me. A steadfast companion no matter where life takes me. My work of over 30 years has culminated into an original method and technique with wood stain. This signature approach uses stain as a fine art medium. Whether a live-edge slab or building something, wood is my canvas.
Finding the perfect slab is a process. I use high quality mills. Preparing the slabs takes care and time. Each one demands something different. In this process I think and imagine the life it lived out as a tree and my stewardship to add more years to its destiny.
Human and natural subjects hold the most interest for me. My work asks the viewer to reconsider something. It could be views on beauty, giving, or the human condition. Whatever it is, the work is asking them to unpack it and reexamine what it might mean to them.
This work is a passion. It has uncovered a trail in my life that started before I could even walk. I’m happy it led me here.
Planet Earth, USA
School of Life, Ongoing
Paier College of Art, 1994
Bachelor of Fine Arts, Graphic Design
The Rowdy Rowdy Ranch,
Arte Publico Press; 2003
My Grandparents and Me,
Arte Publico Press; 2004
"Not knowing when the dawn will come I open every door." —Emily Dickinson
“There's some folks, that if they don't know, you can't tell 'em.” —Louis Armstrong
2017 Solo Exhibition, “the new BLACK —VOLUNTEERISM”, WEBSITE
ArtsQuest at SteelStacks, Bethlehem,PA
2017 Group Exhibition, “Member's Show”,
Link9, New York NY
2014 Group Exhibition, “The Art of the Flower Exhibition”,
Philadelphia Sketch Club, Philadelphia PA
2014 Group Show (all media), “To Plaid or Not to Plaid Exhibition”,
The Gallery at St. John's, Easton PA
2014 Group Show, “Member's Art Exhibition”,
Artsbridge Group, Lambertville NJ
2007 Solo Show, “The Open Door"
Paula at Rigoletto, Weehawken NJ
1994 Group Exhibition, “Alumni Show"
Paier College of Art, Hamden CT
1989 Solo Show, “Senior Exhibition"
Connecticut National Bank, Meriden CT
The mighty tree is part of daily life. A wooden spoon, a letter from a friend, a favorite park bench, or the distinct scent of cedar. A tree is a teacher of patience, of loyalty. It is alive and once it has lived its life it can again become more. Like a tree my own life is an evolution. I can look upon times gone by and see how trees and the wood they give were calling to me, to be a steward of the second and third life their destiny has plotted.
Before I could walk wood caught my attention. Each summer traveling from Connecticut to Lititz PA to visit my grandparents was a feast of things made from wood. Birdhouses, vases, candy dishes, and instruments.
At home I just wanted to be around the tools. (I'm pretty certain I was waiting for my father to turn his back in that photo, so I could swipe the chisel he left behind on the floor!)
Games and toys were another favorite in my Lancaster county visits. Wooden toys were a contrast to what I was use to, my goodness how special I felt they were. It was joyful. (and yes, that is a 'Fine Woodworking' magazine right next to me. I know nothing!)
As a teenager I pestered my grandfather to give me one of the dulcimers he had made. He was quite reluctant, likely figuring I would never learn to play it. I did get as far as "Frére Jacques", but it was the wood and craftsmanship that fascinated me. Today I proudly display it in my home along with other things he made.
Before long I discovered I'd rather be in the garage putzing around with stain and poly rather than shopping for shoes. (That should have tipped me off.) My art made its way into the paper here and there in school, but mostly 'creating' was my solace, my normal.
Whether living in Connecticut, Puerto Rico, or Arizona, artistry was my constant. Now years later I know why I kept seeing everything in sepia, why curly wood shavings were fun, why camping was exciting... because of the trees.
The years I spent working on technique with pencil, oil, acrylic, watercolour, and ink all serve my current work and passion. It's culminated into an original method and technique using wood stains as a fine art medium.
I'm grateful for angels along the way. In high school, Mrs Moser taught me watercolour techniques that decades later were instrumental in developing my signature approach with wood stains.
I've lived in New Jersey for over 20 years, the last five on the NJ/PA border. The best of both worlds.
Forever a student of life, I look forward to learning, developing and most definitely pushing past creative boundaries.
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