I am an artist living in Greenville, South Carolina. Although I have been artistic and creative all my life, I came to a decision to take art seriously, as a career just in the past few years, after the age of 50. It took some mind games and effort to be able to say “I am an artist” without a twinge of discomfort, having that impostor feeling.
I play with all sorts of art-forms but nearest to my heart, at the moment is collage. I would say that my work is different from traditional collage in that traditional
collage tends to have a deconstructed aspect to it. My work is the opposite because I go for much more realism. I like it best if the collage materials are not recognized from a distance and reveal themselves at close up, the way a painting can look realistic from a distance but on closer inspection, the freedom of brushstrokes becomes apparent. My materials are my brushstrokes.
I use anything I find that suits the purpose in my collages, beads, broken jewelry, wallpaper scraps etc… I always try to incorporate recycled packaging too. This is important to me, partly because of the environment, and partly because I get a little thrill out of recognizing the value of materials most people would discard as trash. I feel like I know a secret. Sometimes I feel amazed that everyone doesn’t see the value of these materials. Think of this next time you peel that wonderful foil seal off a new can of coffee.
I am inspired by many kinds of traditional arts and crafts. The cultural history of the world is just packed with amazing treasure, isn’t it? I view the world of art and art history as a giant buffet table and I want to sample a taste of everything. “Mmmmm that Wabi Sabi looks delicious! Gimme a little of that Horror vacui! Check out those fantastic Molas!” I completely reject the idea that one artform is superior to another due to what is in fashion at the moment. Art is timeless.
If there’s something I don’t like too much, I try to keep in mind that I probably don’t understand it, and that’s a signal to me that I have something more to learn. There is always something more to learn.