Artist Statement: Encountering Humanity and Daily Experiences Deeply

There is something deeply beautiful and grotesque about humanity. I seek to understand and experience this through drawing and the transformative process of printmaking. My spirituality is reflected in the exploration of teachings and traditions of the Catholic Church or biblical themes that I conceptualize through the art-making process. These concerns are met with my own personal observations of the people and issues around me as well as the ordinary experiences that occur in my daily life. More recently, I have incorporated traveling into my work by using drawing as a method of chronicling my day trips around the North East. 

Much of my process is centered on creating an experience between the model and myself. Through constant life drawing, I am continually growing in my ability to empathize with the people I come into contact with in order to gain a better sense of the human figure and the life that lies within. Working in this way gives me opportunities to seek out the dignity of the person in front of me, whether they’re a friend or a stranger in the airport, always trusting the intuition that comes with the expressiveness of drawing. To me, the flaws and “ugliness” that are found within each of us are intriguing and contribute to the worth that is clear to me in every person.

Printmaking transforms my initial drawings into something unexpectedly different from what I planned. I appreciate the simplified quality of a woodcut that can add a bold, graphic element to a subject, or the delicate complexity of an etching- even the uncontrollable accidents that can happen to a plate in the acid bath can be beautiful. Because of the democratic nature of printmaking I can put more affordable and accessible artwork into communities. I believe that art is essential for life and creates important dialogue- it is a language in which the beholder completes the work.

 

Some thoughts on figure drawing:

When we draw the human figure, we learn something from the human form. We gain an understanding, or appreciation, or a form of empathy when we try to record the gestures, movements, subtleties, the weight of the living person in front of us (physical, emotional, psychological weight). We are viewing the person as exactly that- a person. A person created with dignity, beauty, uniqueness, and flaws that are worth recording and capturing in a drawing- without sentimentality, without crude or twisted intent; only the intention to encounter the human person through mark-making, through research. Every mark you make on a page is a risk, and a chance to relate or grow in compassion for the person in front of you.