Artist Statement & Bio
The Other Side Of The Mirror
There is a place, barely hidden,
where we look into a thing that looks back
and see a sliver of who we are.
Beautiful, enraged, diffuse, messy as hell,
perfectly in balance.
Where we can see
the ancient under the new,
the story in this moment,
the beauty the beauty the beauty
of the whole of us.
In the place where left and right,
here and there,
you and me,
there lies the center of us.
Invitation and caution
initiation and wonder
conflagration and ease.
Hold your gaze
steady and clear.
We need you here
in this place.
Sometimes you can draw a perimeter around a thing and what falls inside is enough. I have lived all of my life in a thirty mile radius of where I sit right now. Thirty miles to the east, thirty miles to the south, thirty miles to the west. Most of the all of the days spent within ten miles of right now. While not unaware or uninterested in what lies beyond, this is where I live, and what forms and feeds my art and my words.
There was a river – there is a river – and a studio in an old school on the side of a road. There was a tiny house on a scenic highway, much-loved dogs and trees and two more rivers, and, in the background of it all, one fine mountain. These were what defined, informed, surrounded, held.
In 1994, I was solidly ensconced in a corporate career and being offered a publisher’s position in Las Vegas, with my only hesitation being whether I was willing to do five or ten years in Vegas, or hold out for a slot closer to home and heart. Just then, a series of fortuities led me to a beautiful log house on a sweet spot of the Sandy River. The river won. Two days after moving in, I knew the river and the job couldn’t exist in the same space and tendered my resignation, cashed out my profit sharing, and went to the river to write. One year later, almost to the day, I received word that Body Speaking Words would be published in the spring.
In 2000, I set up a writing studio in a classroom in the old Springdale School. One day, in the lull of a story, while scribbling to get hand and brain moving together, I saw a glimmer in the scrawl that seemed like it was maybe something. The art took over from there like it had just been waiting in the background to be noticed. For the next four years, fifty to a hundred hours a week was spent with ink and oil and acrylic and canvas and paper.
There was a move of home and loss of studio at the end of 2004, followed by a year of casting about for a voice for the art in the much diminished available space of the home studio. With just a whisper of 2005 left, I put woodstain on paper and knew I had found my medium of choice, completing over a hundred paintings in the following four years.
Throughout this four years, I worked a graveyard shift at a hotel desk, chosen because there was time in the middle of the night to paint and draw and write, and because the “day job” could be energetically left at the door to focus on the real work. There were the daily hikes to the woods and river with the dogs – the pack having grown from one to two to now four – always with a camera if it wasn’t mid-downpour, and then, when the camera smashed on the rocky river beach, with the cell phone, trying to capture glimpses of the delight and peace of those walks. The job changed to General Manager at the hotel in 2010, and balance became more difficult, but the walks and the work continued. The Mirror Project is my attempt to tell a part of the story, show a bit of the magic that can sometimes fall inside the perimeter of a thing.
The work is, in the most literal sense, leading. From inception and through each incarnation, the next thing to be done has revealed itself, always unexpectedly, as a new trail to explore. My job is step to step to step and some days you arrive in a place.
Inside the perimeter of a thing.