I began painting in 1997. I studied Process Painting with Bernie Marek and abstract painting with Joan Anderson for several years. I was very happy just painting when I was asked to make some animal masks for an outdoor walking play, namely, 12 yaks and a fierce Tibetan Protector. I’d never done papier mache before but this unexpected and challenging project started my ongoing romance with it and my involvement with a theatrical production company out of Minneapolis, Tiger Lion Arts. I’ve worked on a number of their productions over the years in various capacities but my main focus has always been artistic, the masks and props. The animal masks and puppets you see here have all been actors.
Papier mache is my material of choice for most projects except painting and even then I use mostly paper. I build with whatever materials are at hand: cardboard, paper towel tubes, grocery bags, foam, self hardening clay, etc. The papier mache ‘glue’ is made from cornstarch.
I also use decorative paper as a finish on almost everything with a bit of acrylic paint. Ripping up pieces of paper and using them to create texture and color on any object is a sort of passionate addiction, from masks to frames and mirrors, wall shelves, figures both human and animal, objects, furniture, paintings and pregnant belly casts…
I want the animals and masks to speak, their created presence and beauty an honoring of their living counterparts. Beauty, whimsicality, charm, character, goodness and a visual richness all hopefully invite engagement and connection with the viewer. Creating other objects, figures big and small, paintings both flat and 3D, niches with Buddhas, trees with Buddhas, bowls, birds of all sizes, is my passion, my work, my art.