As a visual communicator, I speak through color, texture, composition and imagery. My paintings invite the viewer to start a conversation.
As a resident of California, I see only hints of our global distress. Agricultural lands lying fallow, earth surfaces sinking, and water rationing are constant reminders of the dismal health and state of our earth. This series, Waiting, speaks to the overwhelming passive response to confronting global warming. While many individuals seemingly acknowledge the record changes in climate, increase in oceans surface temperatures, and rise of sea levels, they continue to wait immobilized for change to occur.
In this series, the intentional use of empty white space is meant to be uncomfortable, as an awkward silence in a conversation. The imbalance and tension created, reflects the divergence of global warming. The typography plays a role within the narrative by revealing the distressing facts while rendering the objects at risk. The fading human figures remind us that we are predominantly made up of water and are in danger of losing our life source.
In Waiting for the Water to Rise, the umbrella is typically seen as a symbol for protection (as our government elect) but instead, it is presented as a source for a typographic barrage of our earth’s cries. Type falls like tears from the umbrella, parallel to a fading human form.
Sinking. Subsidence. is my contemporary version of Grant Wood’s American Gothic. It speaks of drought-induced sinking and the growing consumption of water-intensive goods. Unsustainable amounts of water are extracted from underground aquifers to irrigate crops and use for growing populations. With excessive extraction of groundwater, lands deflate and descend into mile-long unnoticeable sinkholes, often resulting in long-term permanent damage. The words are a running list of water-intensive goods and products with the largest water footprint.
If we continue to wait for change to occur, water will quickly become a precious resource of future conflicts and wars.
With life comes strings, limitations, and boundaries. We can embrace the possibilities or remain safely in place.
Both images in my Strings series speak to the struggle of choice and are examples of how image and words can play an equal role in the narrative. The self-reflective poem, Safe Place, forms a solid typographic block that visually expresses the heavy weight of the unknown and pressures to conform, burdens that are carried upon the shoulders of the figure. In contrast, the poem in Possibilities alludes to the positive inner voice that pushes the figure forward toward what is possible.
Safe Place expresses the private turmoil and conflict one experiences when you publicly agree with your place in this world but privately aspire to follow another path. The overwhelming social and media pressure, to comply and follow, immobilizes your voice for self and desires. The internal conversation to conform or rebel, to be good or bad, to be accepted or rejected is a duel to the end.
Possibilities reveals the hidden rebel from within. It captures the self that shouts and demands the freedom to take a chance towards a private truth. It inspires the self, who embraces stumbles along the path, to accept the differences and see the possibilities.
Beyond Cancer Series
These three images were inspired by my mother. She died many years ago from a brain tumor. My experience during her illness was life changing. I painted my most vivid memories of that vulnerable time. Waiting Room captures one moment of many when you’re sitting and waiting in this strange room where time slows down and people come and go. In this room, I would remember my mother’s phrase, “Once a man twice a child.” I saw it in this room. Speechless reflects the frustration and torment of the unspoken when faced with a terminal illness. Full Circle reveals how we all must face the end alone as our life circle closes.
As I watch my days disappear in front of multiple screens, it is easy to feel I’m missing out…on something. Balancing between the natural and online worlds has become challenging. Many people experience moments of frustration when fusing technology into day-to-day life and living in a culture of personal sharing.
My three portraits Not Seen, Not Heard, and Not Spoken Of speak of the inequality and suffering present in the United States even though it is among the richest countries in all of history.
About one American in seven, approximately 43 million people, are living below poverty line. On any given night, near 600,000 Americans are homeless. It’s not just the unemployed that are homeless anymore, but the working poor who struggle to afford living anywhere in this country. Not seen. reveals how people have become so inured to the homeless that an individual sleeping on the sidewalk in a box with a makeshift blanket has all but become invisible. As the disparity and inequality between America’s rich and poor increase, most Americans are losing sight of the American Dream.
“I know words, I have the best words.” and “Nobody builds a wall better than me.”
Like a drama filled reality show gone bad, we continue to watch Donald Trump drown in his own “best words.” Our only hope is that he doesn’t pull us down with him. Every scene has been infused with his unscripted rants and overheated insults, daring someone to fight, in the interest of creating drama and ratings. Trump is not a politician but a salesman and a renegade of his own party. From the start of his campaign, Trump continues to wildly vacillate his positions and issues while attracting extremists of all kinds, flailing and sinking right before our eyes. United Artist! Exhibition, Charles Krause Art Gallery, Washington D.C. and Art Exhibit Review in Washington Post
The Bristlecone Pines are one of the oldest living trees on earth, more than 4,800 years old. I see them when backpacking above 10,000 ft. They remind us that struggles can be faced, survival is possible and hope is worth the fight.
I remember the moment I picked up the book A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasar in the LA airport, needing something to entertain myself for a long trip. I was curious after reading the back cover because my older brother was also a brilliant mathematician. Ten years older, he was more like a father figure who I looked up to and admired. By the end of the flight, my view of the world entirely changed. I realized that my ‘normal’ brother wasn’t normal at all. My entire life, I watched his compulsive obsessions to master many things from puzzles, chess, fishing, fish tanks, cars, computers, video games, and so on, until he disappeared from life into drugs and alcohol, drowning in his own unhappiness and despair. His favorite phrase was “I am going to go to sleep one day and never wake up.” My piece, Sweet Dreams, reflects the search for peace for those struggling with a beautiful mind so different and impossible to really understand.