Winter, with its overlapping twists and flows seen through the panes of a window, creates a scene of hidden secrets and marvels. Growing up in western Canada, winter was full of adventure. Tracking and observing animals was easy in the snow and leafless forests. Birds and paper wasp nests revealed themselves for collecting. Frost formed fantastic designs on windows. Snow and ice formed drifts that cast blue shadows in the sun.
Window recalls childhood memories of long, cold school bus rides during winter. With only one, small heater to battle the minus thirty degree temperatures outside, all the windows were permanently covered in a layer of ice. As the dim light of dawn shone through the ice crystals that formed patterns on the glass, I would see fairy landscapes and galaxies. It was as if the window was a magical entrance to another world. Window symbolizes the portal I gazed through, longingly, on those frozen journeys to school.
I listen to a wide variety of music when I paint. Jazz is very inspiring because of its free, unstructured timing and rhythms. While listening to a lively piece by Louis Armstrong, I executed a colorful flow painting as background to represent the energy, the color of the music. Later, I added images of musicians and instruments engaged in a Jam Session.
Fire and ice are opposing Taoist forces in nature, fighting to find balance. Fire and Ice began with a background of black, overlaid with white and silver mica, to emulate the cool, calm Yin femininity. On top of the Yin colors, I added red for the heat and volatility of Yang or masculine elements. Too much Yin or Yang shows a lack of balance. Fire and Ice highlights nature’s constant striving for equilibrium.
Dream Interrupted represents the changing paths taken throughout life. Children want to grow up to be many things: firemen, astronauts and movie stars. As wisdom is gained, priorities change and interests evolve. As a child, I wanted to be an archeologist. In college, I considered entering the diplomatic corps before settling on Chinese. The series of broken black and white lines represent paths that were followed, then abandoned. My interrupted dreams left their imprints on my life.
Weberlein means “little weaver” in German. During a trip to Turkey, I visited a company that made Turkish rugs. I saw weavers knotting carpets with incredible speed. Weavers need dexterity to tie 5,000 knots per day. “Weberlein” is a weaving of acrylic colors. The painting reminds me that creating anything of lasting beauty involves time and patience.
Pursuit is the act of following in order to capture something. Since the birth of the human race, men have pursued women in a mating dance of ever- changing standards in style, fashion and beauty. “Pursuit” depicts three demure women surrounded by figures by men preening for their quarry’s attention. The women wear heavy make-up to attract the hunters. “Pursuit” creates the dance men and women engage in as they seek a lover.
The zodiac sign Pisces has its origins in the story of Aphrodite and her son, Eros, being chased into a river by the Titan Typhoon. A Trojan warrior heard Aphrodite’s cries and prayed to Poseidon for help. Poseidon transformed the warrior into two fish. The heroic fish saved the Goddess and her son. As a reward, Aphrodite raised the warrior to the heavens as the sign Pisces. “Pisces” represents the two linked fish from the Greek legend, swimming together among the plants and rocks of a river.
A paradigm is a universally accepted pattern or technique. Paradigms are common in the natural sciences in the form of proven facts and methods. The random mixture of shapes and colors in “Paradigm” is a metaphor for the absence of a set pattern in the arts. A uniform pattern of thought or action does not exist for artists. “Paradigm” represents how creativity follows its own unique process.
Pangaea was the supercontinent that existed during the Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras about 250 million years ago, before the continents were separated. In ancient Greek, pan means entire, and Gaea means Earth. The crackled surface “Pangaea” and its drifting forms represent the massive forces of nature Forces that serve to remind mankind that some things will never be controlled.