|An important factor in the art process is the direction engendered by the media used. Each medium stimulates unique responses that reflect the complexity of the way we view life. Expressive, abstract, literary, emotional, didactic, surreal...all are aspects of the ways we can create and express these varied responses. This can be seen as eclecticism, nevertheless, I believe that the generalist, as opposed to the specialist is more able to perceive and live life more fully.
The ten years I lived in Japan afforded me the opportunity to study with the abstract calligrapher, Hidai, and six print makers: Hagiwara, Kidokoro, Tajima, Yoshida, Azechi, and Kitaoka who all exemplified a sensitivity and discipline that has had a profound effect upon my work, with the exception of the abstract calligraphy, this Japanese influence may not be obvious.
An exciting period in my life as a commercial abalone diver in Santa Barbara, CA gave opportunity to explore the undersea world, to see the colorful and textural encrustation on rocks, reefs and sunken objects as well as the effect of diminishing light. This experience, and exposure to the subtle textures of Japan, has influenced the textural character and patina of my assemblages. I have used these experiences in a symbolic way to express the effect of time and nature on material things. The temporary nature of all material things has a spiritual connotation that has deeply affected me.
A factor in the political aspect of my work is recognition of a tendency by humans to demonize those who do not subscribe to their views or mirror their ethnicity, a consideration that has many historical precedents. All life's activities are in a sense political in that one must choose to support either an authoritarian or a democratic way of life.
Another influence in my work sources from the myths, metaphors, aphorisms and symbols of the various cultures and the way they view life, and from our relationship to all of nature and the cosmos and its mysteries. This cultural collective has offered me a wide frame of reference from which to draw inspiration.
Expressing, visualizing the concerns, the beauty and the complexity of life is my way of confronting the mystery. We have no absolute knowledge of our beginnings or of our ends. We have been inserted in the middle of a process that, because we know not the beginning nor the end, stimulates us to create questions and answers addressing the mystery.The creative process is, for me, a way of expressing this sense of mystery and my need to invent an explanation as well as to question. It is this response that I find most challenging and life fulfilling.