July 2014




Artist’s Statement

I have a spiritual connection with water. For many years it was not something that I considered consciously. About ten years ago, my marriage of thirty years began unraveling. It was as if I had been thrown into a dark hole. I was suffocating, and I could not find a way out. While I was visiting my son in Boston, we took a boat trip in the Boston Harbor to see the lighthouses. As I stood on the bow of the boat with the mist blowing up into my face, I realized that I was happy, truly happy, for the first time in a very long time. I felt alive again. I could breathe. Obviously, the pain of my divorce did not disappear because of a boat ride, but it did make me aware of how much my proximity to water affects my sense of wellbeing.
I have been drawn to water for as long as I can remember. It is all around us. It is in the air that we breathe, in the oceans, lakes, swamps, and marshes on this round ball we all call home. It has been a part of us since conception. Semen carrying the sperm that generates new life is 96 percent water. The amniotic fluid surrounding that new life begins as 99 percent water. The body at birth is approximately 75 percent water and remains around 60% for the rest of our lives. Without water, life as we know it could not exist. We may live for weeks or months without other nutrients, but without water, we can only survive a few days.
Water flows through our veins like the water on our planet flows through its rivers and streams. Water is found in all its forms on Earth: in the mists and fog in the air, in the oceans and marshes, swamps and jungles, rivers and streams, in the glaciers and permafrost on Earth’s surface, and underground beneath our feet. Science tells us we cannot survive without that amazing combination of hydrogen and oxygen. Yet, we take it for granted.
I believe that for art to have meaning, beyond the self-actualization of the artist creating the work, it has to engage the viewer. This engagement must extend beyond just a momentary visual interest. It needs to be able to capture the viewer’s thoughts and emotions. While I do not expect my audience to come away with knowledge of my personal story beyond what I choose to tell them, I hope that they will recognize an emotional connection between themselves and water. I cannot create that connectedness for them, but I can create a visualization of my own emotional connection with water. It is my intention that these images will serve as a bridge between my connection with water and some emotion within the viewer. That connection, not the water itself, is my actual subject.



Photography is my third career. Although I have loved photography all my life, I began my adult life as an economist and then spent over twenty years as a CPA. My soul finally spoke louder than my wallet, and I began pursuing fine art photography. I do not think anyone’s last words have ever been “I wish I had done more tax returns.”

Photography has become both a means of artistic expression and a way for me to relate to the natural world that I love deeply. I find a peace behind the camera that I find no place else. Most of my photography deals with the natural world or our relationship with it. I believe that if we can see the beauty around us, we will be more likely to protect it.

Most of my images are created digitally. However, I have learned that I very much enjoy taking those images beyond simply printing them on paper. Currently I am working with printing water reflections on silk and combining encaustic with photographic images printed on both paper and silk.

One of these two current bodies of work is a series of fine art, form-based photographs of reflections in water. This series is firmly rooted in abstract landscape photography, with linguistic elements of movement, color, and light that are captured as they affect the appearance of the water. Water is, by definition, fluid. It moves constantly. The reflections that I find in water change from instant to instant. What I see at one moment will no longer exist the next moment. It is this movement that has encouraged me to seek a medium of presentation that accentuates this characteristic. The images are printed with acid dye inks on silk charmeuse and chiffon and are layered and hung freely to preserve the fluidity of the silk. The layering of the silks provides a three-dimensional look at the water reflections, just as one can look into and through the water that reflects the natural world.

The second body of work that I am beginning to explore is a series of intimate images of the ocean, printed on paper and silk and layered above and below the images with encaustic on wood. The encaustic allows the water images to appear more fluid than a simple photographic print is able to convey.

I began my journey in photography as something I was doing for myself. I did not intend for it to be a career. However, I have discovered that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. In addition to my artistic exploration of the medium, my ultimate goal is to teach photography in a college or university setting. Consequently, I am completing my MFA in Photography at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.