Canterbury Art Show opening this weekend

I’m delighted to show five new paintings from the Flora series at the Canterbury Art Show, opening this Labor Day Weekend!

First Hibiscus of Summer, detail view

“Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature.” – Gerard De Nerval

“In nature nothing exists alone.” – Rachel Carson

Plants and flowers are a form of communication between humanity and the Earth, if we pay attention. The paintings in this series present portraits of individual plants as both unique messages from the Earth and examinations of natural order and growth. As a contemplative mirror for our relationships with ourselves and others, plant forms evoke harmony, elegance, and strategies for survival through cooperation. These paintings challenge us to explore the spiritual dimension of our time on Earth and invite consideration of the human impact on the natural world, as we recognize we are fundamentally one with the Earth.

I look at plants everywhere I go, keeping my eyes peeled for a refreshing spot of green or lush burst of color. When I imagine a person or place, plants and especially flowers flood my memory in association, embodying the emotional connections I feel. Using plant forms as a language in my imagination, these portraits of individual plants in situ further examine the natural order that created them, their patterns of growth and response to light, and my spiritual relationship with others, with myself, and with the Earth.

Pink Rose of Assisi, 2018, 12″x12″x1.5″, oil on canvas

Standing before the Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi, Italy, I couldn’t take my eyes off the perfect sweet pink roses growing on the pathway outside. All of Assisi felt permeated with Saint Francis’s deep love and reverence for nature, and this rose felt like a direct communication of that vitality. Exploring the organic geometric arrangement of its tender petals into a coherent whole, I felt transported by its simple elegance and richly complex beauty.

Early Morning Jimson Weed, 2018, 16″x20″x1.5″, oil on canavs

Visting my family earlier this summer, my father woke me to come see the Jimson weed growing in his garden, which seemed to glow in the early morning sunlight. I was intensely grateful for this delicate white flower that greeted him with such magic each day and brought him such joy, and I too felt enchanted by its luminous purity and captivating forms.

West Park Iris, 2018, 16″x20″x1.5″, oil on canvas

During a walk around the neighborhood where I grew up, I was stopped in my tracks by the decadent petals of this purple iris, which seemed to unfurl with a secret wisdom about living unabashedly. The audacity of the iris, with its ornate, fanciful ruffles and vivid color, felt like a celebration of living freely, openly, and unapologetically as ourselves, just as we were made – and enjoying every moment of it.

First Hibiscus of Summer, 2018, 16″x20″x1.5″, oil on canvas

Some of my favorite memories from childhood are visiting my family in Hawaii, where I had experiences of deep emotional resonance in the nearly overwhelming natural landscape teeming with gorgeous new sights and perfumed air. I was always enthralled by the hibiscus blooms, each one seemingly more joyful and impossibly beautiful than the next. In New York, I am keenly aware of the first bloom I see each summer, as it transports me back to those cherished times and instantly reconnects me with my loved ones.

Remembrance Poppy, 2018, 16″x20″x1.5″, oil on canvas

When I was young, I begged my mother to let me plant a poppy in her garden. I spent weeks imagining its exotic shape and red-orange color, but I was not prepared for the extravagant, massive bloom that would burst open in the summer heat. I was stunned that anything in the world could be so bold, vibrant, and complex… just like my mother.

As a symbol of remembrance and respect, especially of those lost and injured in war, this poppy is also the newest addition to my Charitable Giving initiative, with 25% of the sale price of the original painting and prints donated to the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Charitable Service Trust.

Canterbury Art Show
August 31-September 3, 2018
Meet-the-Artists Reception & Preview – Friday, August 31, 7-9pm
Open 10am-6pm Saturday and Monday (9/1 and 9/3) and 12-6pm Sunday (9/2)

Tickets $10 (valid for all days of the show) / Preview and Meet the Artists Reception $50 in advance, $60 at the door. (Purchasing information)

Proceeds from the Canterbury Art Show benefit St. George’s-by-the-River Episcopal Church and its community outreach programs in Monmouth and Ocean Counties.

St. George’s-by-the-River
7 Lincoln Avenue
Rumson, NJ 07760 (map)

For more information, please visit Canterbury Art Show

Follow @canterburyartshow | #canterburyartshow

Sea Change series process and inspiration, part 1


This spring I returned to the Sea Change series of sculpture and assemblage pieces using recycled and reclaimed marine plastics, monofilament, fishing tackle, and textiles made from plastic bags. Though at first glance these pieces may seem a bit unrelated to my painting and drawing, I am finding they address many of the same concepts and incorporate similar themes as I have been approaching in more abstract images.


In this series of posts, I will make some notes on the overall process and discuss some of the in-progress, planned, and completed pieces in terms of inspiration, concept, and materials.


I Heard the Ocean from My Bed – detail view


When I start planning a painting or drawing, I often begin with a color sense and an overall feeling that I’d like to explore, either drawn from a specific source like the way leaves unfold from a plant or from a conceptual place, like what it feels like to want to protect someone you love. At some point as I work through preliminary sketches or initial layers, the whole image coalesces in my mind as a more or less completely-formed being, and I see the rest of the painting process as an attempt to capture its likeness. It’s a bit like portraiture in that sense, only chasing a face seen in passing glances, always changing the way it looks back.


Making textiles from plastic bags


By contrast, in the Sea Change pieces I start almost entirely with the materials, thinking about what they can do and how that might look. I’m having a great time exploring their tactile qualities and physical behaviors. I have enjoyed various forms of needlecraft since I was a child, so it was a natural fit to use these pieces of plastic as textiles and incorporate sewing, knitting, needlepoint, weaving, and embroidery in making images. Sewing pieces together and to their supports has also given me a structurally sound means of connection that doesn’t use adhesives or rely on melting the plastics to fuse them, which pleases me both environmentally and in terms of art conservation methodology. I also enjoy the connection to tradition and the “women’s work” aspect of these techniques, as women are disproportionately affected by climate change and damage to the environment. Communicating through works of art using techniques previously reserved for frivolity or decoration – which kept women occupied, but not engaged – feels like reclaiming these techniques in a symbolic form of ecofeminism.


Gyre – detail view


Visually, I’ve been strongly drawn to Sacred Geometry and spiritual symbols lately. These shapes, patterns, and images feel meaningfully connected to the Earth, as they were literally discovered in our attempts to understand our place in the universe, communicated through geometry. I am attracted to the universality of these symbols, which are not tied to language or conscious thought, and that has led me to further explore modern symbology through ISO warning and safety signs. These ideas and symbols are all swirling together into a language to talk about nature and our relationship to the natural world, using these recycled plastic materials and traditional needlecraft techniques.


Palette of plastics used in Blue-Green Fibonacci (in progress)


Blue-Green Fibonacci is an in-progress piece that began when I received a shipment cushioned with bags of sealed air. These bags are presented as an environmentally-friendly alternative to styrofoam, bubblewrap, or packing peanuts. Some are branded under cute names with “Eco,” “Recycle,” and “Defender” included, and they are all printed with symbols either indicating they are recyclable or in very rare cases, made from partially recycled plastic themselves. Some are clear plastic with a bit of ink, while others are opaque dyed plastic in shades of blue or blue-green presumably meant to evoke eco-friendliness. If a shipping recipient has access to Plastic #2 (HDPE) or plastic film recycling, they could theoretically recycle these bags. New York City residential pick-up does not accept anything besides rigid plastics (symbols 4 & 5) and including soft plastics could cause a whole load to be rejected. So realistically, most people do what I was instructed to do at my last job – pierce the bags to deflate them and squish them into the trash.


Once they enter the waste stream, plastic bags and films are much more likely than other forms of trash to escape from landfills to rivers and oceans because they can be blown by the air, carried by streams of rain water, and they tend to cling to anything they touch. They are swallowed by turtles, fish, and marine birds, and they attract and aggregate other petroleum-based pollutants in the sea. They are a non-biodegradable nightmare for the environment, and they are contributing to the rapidly-growing garbage patches in the sea.


Blue-Green Fibonacci – detail view


I thought about how to transform them from something harmful to something that celebrates the beauty and cleverness of nature. I cut the bags into loops, which I then linked together to create balls of “plarn” or plastic yarn. When converted to a textile and measured in yards, I was stunned to see just how much plastic each strip of air pillows contained. I saved the air pillows from the handful of shipments I’ve received in the past few months, and I created a palette of blues and greens, which I then knit into stripes based on the Fibonacci sequence, a system of order seen again and again in the natural world. I’ve made several strips of stripes exploring various color and width juxtapositions. Once the striped sections are sewn together and connected to a support, the overall piece should measure 24″x30″, which happens to be one of my most frequently-used canvas sizes in painting.


I am fascinated by the materials and process in this series, and I very much look forward to discussing more pieces in future posts!


Opening Today: Spectrum Gestalt 5

Pocket Sea, 2017, 4″x4″x7/8″, oil on cradled board


I’m delighted this tiny painting will be included in Spectrum Gestalt 5, an exhibition of works of predominantly one color, installed in an expansive spectrum.



“No one could write truthfully about the sea and leave out the poetry.” – Rachel Carson

Inspired by a childhood spent steps from the Atlantic Ocean and surrounded by rivers and moving bodies of water, this painting reflects a deep-seated, primordial, and essential love of the sea. Regarding the surface of the ocean as an evocative parallel for the mystery of consciousness and all that being human entails, “Pocket Sea” is a glimpse of the vast infinities we all carry within us.



The image flows over all edges for a continuous expanse of water and contemplation.



If you are in the Santa Monica area, I hope you’ll pop into the blue section to check it out in person. It looks to be a wonderful show!


Spectrum Gestalt 5
June 16-July 8, 2018
Opening Reception Saturday, June 16, 5-9 pm
Closing Reception Sunday, July 8, 2-4 pm



Gestalt Project Space / bG Gallery
3009 Ocean Park Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90405 (map)

Tuesday-Saturday 11:30am-6pm
Telephone 1-310-906-4211


Presented by Gestalt Projects / bG Gallery






Transformation Closing this Weekend


Transformation closes this weekend! Your last chance to see the spring shows at BWAC is this Saturday and Sunday, June 16-17, from 1-6pm


There will be live music, spoken word performances, and a closing auction starting Sunday at 4pm. You can read more about the exhibit and the paintings I’m showing here.


Hope to see you there!