I am constantly both perplexed and fascinated by so many aspects of the human race, from the choices people make and the way people behave alone and in groups to formal issues of weight and body mass. Also, things like the way someone's ears curve or lower lip droops. My work is a combination of the formal qualities that are visually of interest to me and the narrative issues that define the story of one's life.
As is apparent in the two bodies of work (galleries) on the site, I am currently working with the figure but my work is concerned as well with formal issues, movement, form, texture, negative space etc.. These concerns dominated my earlier work (Transcending Clay) although the element of the cartoon and humor have been present since I began making art in 1985. The earlier body of work is an exploration of form, organic vitality and animation. Movement, gravity, balance, and displacement play a role in many pieces. I try to make the work seem almost alive, animated. I try to capture a feeling of, for example, writhing, twisting, dripping or crawling. Clay is such a fluid, plastic medium. I like for the sculptures, even though they are very hard when fired, to retain that fluid feeling of the wet clay. Each piece has a certain life of it's own, it's own personality, from the sublime and elegant to the whimsical and humorous. The work is painted in many layers instead of glazed. The paint surfaces and the three dimensional textures help to animate the work as well. I am ultimately aiming to clarify, expose and bring these forms to life. They are explorations of the liminal zone between the abstract and the representational.
My recent work is figurative, narrative and sometimes satirical. I like to use humor and cartoonish qualities in the work as doorways in to the viewer, in order to make the work accessible and the content more palatable. Many of the pieces deal with dark personal realities and ultimately I am peering into human experience trying to use expressive qualities of the clay itself. I am hoping to do honor to the individuals I sculpt, offering a sympathetic rather than criticizing view of them while poking fun at the same time. Many of the pieces deal with body image, relationships of all sorts, personal realities and group dynamics. Even though these pieces may feel cartoonish I am seeking to show an internal reality within. Having been formally trained in figurative sculpture (and a teacher of figure sculpture), I use elements of proportion and detail in just enough quantity to make the figures believable.
Recently, I have begun exploring the formal issues of the early work (such as negative space and mass) in combination with the figure and narrative. Baby Boomer Pile up is an example of this. The piece deals with the conundrum of the plight of that section of our population, the differing attitudes, the searching for a cause, the lack of preparedness for the future, those that bear the brunt and those that live off of others. These ideas are expressed through the sculptuing of the figures themselves but also in the way they are fit together formally, the way negative spaces and mass on mass define the piece.