My largest influence has been the tribe of artisans and makers who raised me up. I find Australian Aboriginal painters deeply moving because of my roots. Their commitment to the present moment, the idea of painting as a community story, is an important part of the process. I love the idea of the nothing that is the outback, and how painters there have created an industry for themselves out of the stories of their lives and history. My favorite, Dorothy Napangardi and the other Napangardi sisters, have a painted language that echoes through time.
All of my watercolor paintings are mixed from pigment by hand, creating unique, one-of-a-kind hues. Pigments come from all over the world and are light-durable, synthetic, and non toxic whenever possible.
In addition to gum arabic, the age-old watercolor binder, the pieces heavily use funori, a Japanese seaweed. Often used in archival book binding, the funori is used to lift and carry dense pure pigments over the paper with a unique body and flow not often seen in traditional watercolor.
The paper is beautiful 100% cotton Coventry Rag Legion made, like the artist, in the early 1970s, and is uniquely able to take the process. It was created largely for Erte, and had a certain stability in the gold leaf he used in his work. How it handles the metallic pigments and the dense layers is why it is the preferred paper above all others for the process.
The Fibonacci series is often used in my work to create patterns with the beauty and nuance of the numbers. The I Ching, with its patterns of lines coming forever down, up, and rising through the random noise to give us insight into the nature of change, is another patterning influence.
The patterns are laid in using a latex white, and despite much experimentation, the best resist is still Jackson Pollack's favorite, housepaint. I also mix it with silk painting resists. This causes a ghosting and patterning around the resist, which is really beautiful and works perfectly with the paper.
There is no right way to look at these beauties. Turn them around and upside down, I make them on a table that spins so the right way is your way. The mica pigments change depending on the angle and light you see them under.
So let them get a little sun, live with them, love them. These aren't just paintings, they are life long friends.