I think, as an artist, you should always move forward in your art. If you try to compare your past with your present work too much, you run the risk of stalling progress, and ultimately killing all your creative energy. I do, however, think that it can be interesting to hold an older work of art next to something current to get an idea what path you’re on. I know it helps me articulate more effectively the direction I am going knowing where I came from.
Below are two paintings from different periods in my art career. The Top one is from 2002 and the bottom is from this year. I had a vague idea where I wanted my art to go, but in 2002, I wouldn’t have guessed it would become so abstract. It is clear now that I was on a journey for deeper, more universal truths through expression and experimentation. That’s the path I am on today.
In 2005, after moving to a different city and experiencing a death in the family, I began working in a more introspective way. Like the post-impressionists, fauvists, abstracters and expressionists before me, I became more interested in expressing than in rendering a likeness. I began a search for inner truth. I started to create my own visual language. In essence, I began a quest of self.
It might seem ironic to some, but when I was painting in a realistic manner, I was denying in many ways, my upbringing in a very traditional “bible belt” home in Wichita, Ks. I was desperately trying to publicly remove myself from, what I thought at the time, a backwards and literalist fundamentalist community. In the process, however, I also denied myself a past.
Today, I do not consider myself a fundamentalist, but I explore the stories and teachings of my youth with new wonder and hope. I believe at the essence of every spiritual path there are truths. In my new works, I express my appreciation for all things good in humanity as well as my desire for a more harmonic existence with each other and our natural environment.
The work below is entitled, “Birthday.”
In this mixed media collage work, (47 1/2″ x 35 1/2″) I wanted to combine my appreciation for motherhood, and the holy birth.