Gertrude and Me

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My maternal grandmother, a Ukrainian immigrant, made lace and clothing samples for a manufacturer. It is her lace on Gertrude and Me. The eyes are mine. Gertrude and I did not have a close relationship. She was a rather cold woman, quite harsh, and I don’t feel like I knew her well, though she and my grandfather lived with us growing up. On the other hand, I am so proud of my grandmother, who was also a suffragette and labor organizer, and an incredibly strong woman. She taught English and helped refugees, […]

Rubble

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While working on this painting, I was thinking of the bricks of buildings in Germany devastated by bombs and artillery during WWII, which women removed and cleaned one by one, so that they could be used to rebuild. The women were called Trümmerfrauen, “rubble women.” My rubble, however, is more from erosion, from the disappearance of people, than from war. It is after we are gone. There is a beauty in decay, even sometimes in the aftermath of destruction. As we abandon all wisdom and planning and caring about what comes after […]

A Precise Notion

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The brilliant nineteenth century American journalist, critic, and women’s rights advocate friends early in life with Emerson and other transcendentalists, and she shared their perception of nature as an expression of divinity. For me, her words describe a state of mind I experience in the presence of natural beauty, a sense that I can never feel or appreciate it enough, see it well enough. I want to understand its beauty and wonder more fully, to incorporate it into my being. I am grateful to Fuller for these words, which both acknowledge a […]

Red Square (looking to Rothko)

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This is the piece that got me through the summer of 2018. I wanted to say something as big as the canvas, and I planned on using text to do so. But I could not develop my text-based ideas into effective aesthetic strategies, and I realized I could find no words adequate to this time. I was even personally out of words. I just kept saying, I can’t believe this is happening. I looked to artists I have turned to before for solace, and I turned not to Rembrandt, my usual choice, […]

Lost in America

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I began this piece in response to the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI. Aerial images of the scarred battlefields stayed in my mind, and I wanted to make a commemorative piece as a reminder of the horror and devastation of that war. After preparing the paper, I began to build a charred landscape with burnt paper. I thought about it as my scorched earth piece. Then it stopped being a battlefield. The earth was scorched, but I didn’t know from what. I felt lost in it, which led to my […]

Growth

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Growth began as a piece about edges, inspired by the exhibition that Trident Gallery mounted at the Paint Factory. I glued two pieces of paper together expressly to create an edge at the seam. I had trouble deciding how to bring meaning to the edge. Was it the cliff that we are going off of, the ever-changing edge of the land and sea, or the edge of the seen and the subterranean? In our time, the coastline edge has taken on new meaning in relation to climate change. The only comfort I […]

False god

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STATEMENT We humans have always searched for gods. Has any god saved us from ourselves? IMAGERY A photograph of an artificial nose like the one worn by Tycho Brahe (1546-1601). Unfortunately, this is not a photograph of Brahe’s nose, as I had thought. But in the end it is fitting that while working on this piece, I falsely attributed this false nose. Tycho Brahe was a Danish nobleman, astronomer, and writer known for his accurate and comprehensive astronomical observations. He studied botanical and alchemical medicine at the University of Rostock, and then […]