The primary influence in my work has been the Luminist tradition in late 19th century American landscape painting. While my work is still life-based, I am influenced by the sense of light, the tranquility, the sense of stillness and the nature imagery. Like those painters, I prefer invisible brushwork that does not detract from the nature imagery, and an aerial perspective that is imbued with a feeling of transcendence.
The relationship of still life-based work to a landscape tradition has to do with a desire to make work that bears witness to our urban era. As an artist who has always lived in an urban environment, my challenge has been to find a way to address a reverence for nature and the sustenance it provides, while avoiding an actual landscape, which would belie the urban conditions in which the majority of humanity now lives.
I find great poignancy in antique china with hand-painted nature imagery. Such depictions were attempts to re-create nature and to bring it indoors in the form of ornamented domestic objects. Appropriating antique china is a way to express a longing for nature that was once a common part of daily life. Nature thus becomes memorialized as something that was once close at hand and less threatened than it is now.
A common theme to all of my work is sustenance. When I appropriate hand-painted antique china in the form of cups and plates, these domestic objects reinforce the concept of sustenance as provided by both nature and by human hands. I am repeatedly drawn to teapot imagery depicted in an aerial perspective. A teapot seen from a conventional view is associated with a cozy and warm refreshment; however, a teapot seen from an aerial perspective becomes a powerful form and represents, for me, the enormous human potential to support life. For me, it is the ultimate peace symbol.