About the artist.
These sculptural works are from my series Soft Spring that includes wall hanging work, paintings and wearable art. While creating Soft Spring I sought to embrace my synesthesia as an intrinsic part of my process like a diving rod as opposed to treating the blending of sensory perceptions as a side effect of making art. The result is this delightful and wonderfully experimental body of work. Soft Spring draws inspiration from botanical forms while having the textural quality of edible confections. My synesthesia is characterized by the ability to taste color, which is best described in the title of each piece. Soft Spring is a play on words that speaks to the floral motif and the quality of a perfect piece of cake.
The artist Wayne Thiebaud is a foremost influence of my Soft Spring series. Because of the tasty texture and scrumptious colors of Thiebauld’s paintings I first experienced a synesthetic reaction to art. The sloppy imperfect quality of Claes Oldenberg’s oversized soft sculptures of food such as hamburgers and ice cream cones were also an indelible influence on my sculptures in particular. Personally I draw endless influence in all aspects of my work from the fearless Lynda Benglis. Particularly inspiring for me is Benglis’ use of experimental and unconventional materials in her more recent wall hanging sculptures.
As a mom I don’t really have any mystical rituals when I work in my studio. I guess the magic to others when I describe my practice is the fact I can begin work without the call of the muse since my time can be limited to the school hours of my daughter. I have always been extremely disciplined when it comes to my studio time as not to waste a moment. People often assume artists are Jackson Pollock-ing out to jazz and drinking or smoking in the studio at all hours of the night, for me (though a lover of jazz) I work to the sound of NPR and often watch my favorite soap opera as I work. Oddly enough I can say that when I work I am also infusing my art with my thoughts which I can then revisit what I was exactly contemplating when I return to my work or look at it after it’s finished. My thought conversations with myself never fade away but are crystalized within my work.
Art is play. And I play with materials freely and unencumbered by the supposed correct way to work with it. I was never taught to make art in any particular way or through techniques so when I come across a material that catches my fancy I am free to work whichever way I want. When it comes to my Soft Spring series I carved Styrofoam like cake, frosted sculptures with mortar and even piped paint from an icing bag.
Honestly I would like to see more art about the Southwest made by Southwestern artists. As an artist living in Arizona who has also lived in New Mexico for over the past decade I have noticed a trend in the art world of southwest inspired art made by those who don’t live here. It’s almost like a cultural appropriation of the southwestern aesthetic and therefore life- put a saguaro on it! Being a working artist in the Sonoran desert can be isolating and living in the borderland is a unique experience and the hot hot heat is not for the faint of heart so when I see art inspired by a week long car trip down Route 66 or from a weekend holiday to Santa Fe perceived as a valid voice of the Southwest it just seems so cheap to me. The desert experience is so much more than cowboys, coyote or cactus and the visions of artists that live here need to be recognized nationally.