I work to express feelings and capture the essence of the world around me through color and line. I focus on combining color, shapes, patterns, texture and movement. I work on paper using mixed media, collage, watercolor, pastels, and ink drawings. I look for unusual elements to put into my collages. I have been using papers and found objects including elements cut or torn from my photos, rubber stamps, paper patterns from security envelopes, a variety of papers, and cardboard. I combined them with drawing, watercolor, and oil pastel. I find spatter often adds an element of interest. I also do nature and flower paintings, all based on feelings. I work on a variety of papers and find that the variation in papers adds interest.
Showing My Art
I have painted for many years while pursuing a busy career as an actuary. For many years, I have shared my artwork with others on Christmas cards, notes and in my office and home. I have sold paintings privately and at several shows. In 2011, my painting Skystory was included in the Later Impressions show at the Chicago Cultural Center. In 2013, my painting Jazz Band, was included in the Later Impressions show at the Chicago Cultural Center. I previously had a one person show at the Lake Street Gallery and before that exhibited at Inside Art in Chicago and at Gypsy’s Cove restaurant. As I am phasing down my consulting commitments, I am focusing more energy on my art. I am seeking opportunities for gallery shows and continues to sell my art privately.
I have included two collages, Skystory and A Big Hole in the Artuaries project. I have joined a group of other actuaries who also have art and photography as part of their lives. Each of seven artists have contributed two pieces of art work for reproduction on greeting cards. All proceeds net of printing and distribution costs are being contributed to the Actuarial Foundation. The cards are being distributed through Actex on its Fun Stuff page. www.ACTEXMadRiver.com
The story behind the art
Painting and drawing have been part of my life for many years. More recently, I have been doing photography focusing on reflections, patterns, shadows, and repeated images. I have found interesting patterns in many different places. For example, fences and iron work often have interesting patterns. Buildings which reflect sometimes have great patterns in the reflections. My interest in reflections started one afternoon when I was walking around downtown Denver and learning to use a new camera. Architectural elements sometimes have great patterns, and selecting detail offers a different pattern. A balcony with an interesting rail at the cultural center in Oslo offers wonderful shadows as well as the boards in the rail and spaces between them. Elements of displays in store windows are another source of patterns. Everyday objects can turn into great shapes and I often find new “subjects” for this work. I had a lot of fun taking photos at a Lego store, and using pieces of them in collages.
Travel is another part of my life. I plan my travel to take a sketch book along, and often draw in pencil or watercolor at the site. I try to plan my destinations and my days to accommodate drawing. I may then add color later and enhance the drawing. Travel sketchbooks and journals are a big part of my trips. I also take photos. Some of the drawings turn into paintings later, usually in an abstract form. Many are ideas for future paintings.
Nature is a great source of patterns. I look for shadows. For example, the Getty Museum has lovely gardens and interesting tile on the patios in the gardens. Together they make an interesting pattern of shadows. The sky and clouds are another source for patterns. Airplane trips offer a unique opportunity to photograph clouds from the top down and at different heights. Rock formations and canyons sing out with shapes and color. Rocks don’t need to be big. A few blocks from my home, there is a group of smooth rocks a few inches across with a fountain running water on them to make glistening patterns. The stones in the walk in the Lurie Garden in Chicago form interesting textures and patterns. The aquarium is a treasure trove when it comes to patterns. Corals and soft corals as well as other sea life are a collection of patterns. Bark, fungus growing on trees and mushrooms can also be another excellent source of patterns. Leaves and flowers should not be forgotten either. Water is a source of reflections. I draw many of these things, and I collect images of reflections by taking photos of them.
I like to select themes from the real world and use them as a basis for series expressing feelings about those themes. Abstraction is used in combination with the real world themes in the nature, sky and flower series. Some of these themes come from my home location, some from travel, some from nature, and others from just observing what is around me. The art on the website is a sample of my work.
The series included here are Collages, Sky, Nature, Flowers, Parades, and Travel Memories. Collages are in three groups – Large Collages, Collages with Photos, and Smaller Collages.