I create abstract woodblock prints to investigate and respond to the visual, tactile, and experiential world. I make these works by carving marks into wood that is then rolled with ink. The inked impression is transferred to paper by rubbing with a wooden spoon. Each layer of color builds a surface that is both planned and accidental. Printing and carving occur in stages—I cut back into the same blocks over and over again through time. In this way, as the print is created, the blocks are destroyed. I view the process of relief printmaking as a metaphor exposing the gaps between the physical, the imagined, and what we perceive as the “seen” reality.
My imagery resides in this gap between visual impressions and the conjuring of names or descriptions. This gap is what separates the familiar from the unknown and is where I try to situate each work. I juxtapose the sensual and visceral against the spiritual and symbolic and create realms where the sacred and profane exist in tandem. To accomplish this, I obfuscate, deconstruct, reassemble, and transform visuals culled from my perceptions of both organic and man-made environments, dreams, memories, and learned or imagined myths.
I aim to discover images that deliberately set on edge the associations we bring to forms. In other words, I use forms that might mean many things, have several names, or be both whimsical and terribly dark at the same time. Since the process of constructing narratives is fluid, active, and personal, each viewer completes the work, bringing his or her own associations to bear in how to decipher each piece. It is in this open space—this stream of ever-changing perceptions, before mental categorization and verbal assignments—where we discover how to bridge what we see with what we know.
I was born on the high plains of Denver, Colorado and I continue to draw from the organic earth forms and mysteries I found as a child in the mountains. I studied studio art at the University of Denver to investigate my perceptions of the visual world and explore how we arrive at names for what we see. I studied drawing, sculpture, and photography, but found my voice in relief printmaking. I learned how to hand carve and print multilayered images without any machinery from printmakers Bethany Kriegsman and Jean Gumpper. I graduated summa cum laude in 1997.
I’ve exhibited professionally since 1992 and my works have been shown in Colorado, Texas, Arizona, California, Maine, and Lima, Peru. Additionally, I’ve been honored to serve as a teacher and speaker through programs and workshops at the University of Denver, City of Austin, the University of Texas at Austin, Georgetown Art Works, Women Printmakers of Austin, the University of Maine, and Husson University.