The distance between my inmost self and reality is called painting.I was awarded an art residency in Assisi, Italy last December and I learned to trust myself in a way I had never known before. On the first morning and every morning I was there, I woke up before five a.m., beyond excited—ready to start working. My project, a series of paintings of people laughing uncontrollably, wouldn’t leave me alone. Why uncontrollably? Because when we lose control, we can’t hide. Because I equated tears rolling down my face, my body collapsed in hard laughter with being all in, not giving a fig about the ego that usually drives. For this project Jewish me was trying to connect to St. Francis, the patron saint of Assisi.Francis had been open to nature, animals and himself more than most. The catch was that I was working in watercolor, something I had never tried before. I was also working on yupo paper which turned out to be sheets of thin plastic, a strange material for a study of human authenticity. It felt like my head was on roller skates, so many different things to think about. I couldn’t work fast enough. And I completely lost track of me. Though I had no idea of what I was doing, I couldn’t stop doing it. And I never had to stop to think. I just kept painting from morning to night. In the fever of that creative time I realized that I could trust myself to always have a next step to take. My body was saying, “yes, I ‘m alive,” feeling in love with the universe, with everything and every body. If this isn’t a spiritual experience, I don’t know what is. And my paintings felt good to me. I came to believe that as long as I keep at it, in the end I will end up with something I never imagined that shows some form of growth. That's the most faith I have in anything.
In 2005 I founded International Encaustic Artists, a 501c3 nonprofit organization. Over 375 artists are currently members. My work has been shown in museum and gallery exhibitions and I have many private collectors. I have been painting with hot wax for eleven years.
I am influenced by:
1. Smart, transparent, universal work that reflects things I accept as true. Think Rumi, Annie Lamot, Anais Nin, Stephen Sills, Vicente Wolf, Ben Shahn, Jules Fiefer, Ram Das, Herman Hesse, Sally Mann, Anna Halprin...,
2. Intuitive work that comes from the unconscious: aboriginal paintings, Mark Tobey, Jean Dubuffet, Paul Klee.Chagall...
3. Plants and water especially in places like Singapore, Ubud, New Zeland, Kyoto, Pefkos, Dona Lucata, and Sea Ranch. The patterns in orchids hold me for hours on end.