Artist Statement - Love 101

I paint hearts in gratitude for love that goes way beyond words. The paintings use color, texture and the arrangement of symbols -- especially the heart symbol -- to explore relationships or an individual heart at one point in time, or an entire imaginary life journey.  Above all, I paint about love. 

Some paintings use contrasting colors, especially yellow and blue, to explore how opposing moods and personalities can lead to personal growth. Other paintings go deeper into a single heart in relationship with the wider world. The abstract landscapes are my imaginary stories of individual life journeys -- illuminated, guided and lured by the Heart of the World.

Some of these paintings include other symbols in addition to the heart: runes, pictographs and basic shapes. Anthropologist Angeles Arrien identifies five basic shapes as carrying universal meaning. These five -- the square, circle, triangle, spiral and cross -- signify stability, wholeness, ambition, growth and relationship.

I paint spontaneously, mostly with handheld sticks of oil pastel -- so that feeling goes straight from heart to hand to paper. Oil pastels are soft “professional crayons” made with fine oil and rich, lightfast colors. With vigorous rubbing or a light touch of solvent, I can blend edges and colors to give a sense of mystery and radiance. Usually, I paint as I'm singing along with favorite songs about heart, happiness and love. In a way, I put songs into paint -- making love songs in color.