An Artist in Evolution

In 2007 I was commissioned to create a painting to be hung in the Presidential Suite for the much-anticipated opening of The Nines Hotel in Portland, Oregon. To begin my process, I was provided with a swatch of a warm shade of violet that I was told would be used on the walls of the suite. In contrast to the predominant white-on-white acrylic paintings I most often create, The Nines was looking for an additional color in my work that would respond well to the violet tone of the wall. After producing several color studies, I ended up using a soft, warm earth tone, which accented the wall beautifully.

At the time an artist is working on a project, there could be any number of iterations that are never viewed and are sometimes cast aside in pursuit of the project’s ultimate creation. It thrills me when I have the fortuity to resurrect an old idea and give it new life and was excited when just such an occasion occurred in relationship to one of my latest ventures.

Having recently returned to my roots in drawing, I began to consider the many different ways in which my drawings could be rendered into artwork other than paintings. From that line of thinking sprang my most recent foray into printmaking and a line of high-end scarves I am developing. In addition, I started to see that paintings I had already created could be employed in fabricating alternate versions in materials and processes I previously had not explored. I started a conversation with my long-time friend and Master Glass Caster, Abi SpringI explained to Abi what I wanted, and she believed she could accomplish the visual I was seeking.

The material of glass I was venturing to explore was far different from the familiar pliable nature of acrylic. Movement and plasticity are an essential aspect of my work, which emphasizes the feminization of the square. Was it possible that a rigid, static material like glass could represent my work with the appearance of softness and fluidity? In what ways could I create that illusion? I debated how color could influence the effect I was striving to achieve, and like an old friend, the color study I had done for the project at The Nines came to mind. Among the unused colors was a gorgeous, rich French Blue.

I began pondering the color blue and all it represents to us in a natural and emotional sense. It is the color of the sky and sea, and embodies their fluidity. It is affiliated with depth and stability. It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, faith, truth and Heaven. It is associated with open spaces, intuition, expansiveness, and imagination. Perhaps we make all these associations with blue because it produces chemicals in the body that are calming and give feelings of tranquility. Considering the nature of glass, a material that transforms from liquid to solid, the choice of blue also resonated with where I stood in my processan artist in evolution.