Well, it’s been fifteen years now since I outlived my physiology PhD and retired from 33 years of happily teaching at Hampshire College. Now I get to play with all the other aspects of life.
I write poetry and occasional fiction, hike, paint abstracts, take nature photos, hang out with friends, and am active in the Mt Toby Friends Meeting (Quakers). You’ll see echoes of nature in my paintings.
The borderline between nature and abstraction fascinates me. I explore this edge both in photographs and paintings. When I take a walk in the woods, I pass by countless miniature compositions that are astoundingly beautiful. I simply accept these gifts through the eye of the camera.
My paintings pay tribute to nature not by reproducing scenes, but by borrowing gestures, textures, lines, colors, and spaces. Shapes made by branches, root systems, capillaries, clouds, and puddles all can be discerned within the dense mesh of the paintings. I begin with amorphous washes of color and then respond to what’s on the canvas by adding shapes and textures. Layer piles upon layer and must be simplified and resolved by overall patterns and color harmonies. It feels similar to the complexity of a long life. Louise Fishman and Bill Jensen are major influences on my work.
Poems are likewise abstractions. I begin with how I am feeling and let seemingly random images guide me into the miniature world of a poem.