As a child, much to the dismay of my parents, I would literally transpose the “woods” next door to my family basement filling it with tree branches, rocks
and fallen leaves brought inside to recreate an exotic imaginary world. While
I loved climbing trees and playing outside, the basement “woods” is where I
made sense of these treasures through dance, drama, song and paint. My
love for the performing arts eventually gave way to painting in my thirties.
Initially, my work focused on a psychological approach to the figure,
somehow in all its irony, missing the “woods” in my voice and palette. In 1999,
I rediscovered my muse with a new series of paintings that later brought me to the Costa Rican and Peruvian cloud and tropical rainforests. With this new visual language, I have continued to explore images that evoke the dream-like world of magic realism that tells a story about this fragile ecosystem. Also informing my work is the belief that “myths and metaphors we create will come from the earth” and not from our cities and civilization. Our interconnectedness with the planet requires of us “to confront these primal mysteries and experience the rapture of being alive” (Joseph Campbell).
Unlike visiting zoos and museums of natural history, first-hand observation of plant and animal species in the wild reminds me that nature is extraordinary. It clarifies one’s vision whether observing a mound of caterpillars moving en masse or two macaws hanging upside down from above. The magnificence of both is felt. Yet, I fear we are in the process of turning the extraordinary into the ordinary. We no longer recognize and value the uniqueness of each species. In devaluing nature, we diminish its role in our lives and at our own peril. Is it imaginable and sustainable to live in a world with just a few species of flora and fauna? With this in mind, I paint the figure as a witness to nature’s beauty, its biodiversity, and as an unwitting participant in its destruction. I am hopeful that my paintings can play a role in the need for dialogue on the preservation and celebration of our earth.