I approach the act of making art as an intuitive and meditative practice. Drawing from an eclectic mix of ethnic and spiritual influences, my artwork references personal experience and transformation. My ongoing interest in Buddhism, Asian Art and Hatha Yoga are the sources for the imagery, iconography and rituals that are constants in my artwork, as well as, in my daily life.
I work primarily with encaustic; a combination of molten, pigmented beeswax and damar resin that hardens as it cools. The paint is applied to a rigid, porous surface (usually wood) then fused with heat. Painting with encaustic allows me to build up layers of color and texture that can be embedded with collage materials such as cloth, Japanese papers and photographic imagery. The surface can also be carved and etched into or scraped away. Removing areas of wax allows the underlying elements to reemerge. Multiple wax layers create a translucent surface where what lies beneath influences the subsequent layers adding visual richness and mystery.
My background in Fiber Art continues to inform my work. Many pieces incorporate silk that has been rusted against metal or oxidized on copper, employing various Shibori (resist) dyeing techniques to imprint the fabric. I also compost organic materials such as produce and flowers on silk. The organic marks that result from these processes become a visual metaphor for physical and spiritual transmutation.
A trip to Japan as an undergraduate introduced me to a variety of nonwestern spiritual practices and the ancient ritual of Japanese Tea Ceremony. My experiences in Japan greatly influenced the direction of my education and my life. In 1997 I received a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Washington. The focus of my degree was Fiber Arts and Buddhist Art History in Asia. As a graduate student I also practiced Tea Ceremony with the Seattle Urasenke Foundation.