Tectiform No. 7

I am an abstract, figurative and conceptual artist who works with paint, pencils and fabric. I seek to express a line truthfully; to make forms dance and converse with sensuality and honesty; and to tie the two together in space to make a dynamic composition. I want the viewer to sit with my complicated compositions long enough to allow the eye to move around the painting and take in the color, the corners, the movement, the texturesuch that they want to look at this painting over and over and over again.

My new series of abstract works were inspired by the symbols, signs and dots found on the wall of the “Corner of the Tectiforms” within the cave of El Castillo painted 39,000 years ago. The paintings are composed of rectilinear forms, lines and lots of dots which sometimes transform to circles to short vertical marks and are painted in such a manner as to deliberately create a painting with composition and movement.

I was not seeking to copy the cave paintings, but rather to make a painting that channels and honors the energy of this artist and to recall that sense of sacred darkness in which the artist set up her palette and painted. As with all my abstract work, the goal was to ensure a painting with a lot of movement and truthful lines and shapes that danced with each other, plus I wanted the work to be infused with the spirit of my forebear.

The palette was restricted to hues of red oxide because the cave paintings were made with red ochre, derived from iron oxide.

I created an uneven surface with unmeasured borders to evoke the sense of the cave walls with its crooks and seam lines and sometimes I incorporated sewing pattern tissue paper, a material I have long used in my practice, to evoke the crevices and cracks inherent in the cave walls because the artist incorporated them into her painting.

The paintings were made in response to the combined force of the textured surface, the pattern lines, and other formations that naturally occurred in the support.

To prepare for the paintings, I did drawings, sketches, and prototypes and through that daily experience I came to the following beliefs, none with scientific merit, but all with the conviction that I was connecting with the sensation of painting in that space, and the Artist needing to put down what she felt and believed.  I believe she was telling a narrative of coming into the world, living in the world and leaving the world.  However, in 2023, I interpret the images as modern art, abstraction pared down to its basic forms of circles, squares, triangles, rectangles, dots, the symbols and signs lodged in the collective unconscious of humans.

What makes the cave paintings even more relevant today is not only do they underscore the human need to create art, but that they could only be made by the hand of  a human- using his/her hand to paint and craft tools and pigment to paint with. You see his/her humanity in every line and form and feel it when you use these paintings as a focus point to make sense of the here and now.

Over 27 years, I have made lots of work in different mediums, but each wrestles with the same issues of line, form and space. They record my psyche starting when I turned 40 and began exploring my identity as artist/lawyer. I made papier-mâché sculptures that allowed me to express my perceived outlier status with abandoned pleasure. I used found objects like dresser drawers and typewriter balls as armatures and props and went wild with paint. I moved onto large abstract expressionist paintings, many of which served as vehicles for my joy, passion and fury at living so intensely in two worlds all being energized by the adaptability, fluidity and putting paint on canvas again with abandoned rule-breaking pleasure. Exploring the female face and body within the context of the aging process lead to a series of expressionist self-portraits in my late 40s to the more intimate drawings that emerged during the pandemic and post-retirement from the law. More recently I documented the horror show of the Trump administration in a series of collages and made a series of sculptures in response to the murder of George Floyd and another installation work of ninety 6×8” watercolors depicting women of power, strength and vulnerability.