SecondRiverStudio

© Copyright Second River Studio

Altered Terrain collage drawings
January 17 – March 2, 2013
Ramp Gallery
McLean Project for the Arts
1234 Engleside Avenue
McLean, VA 22101

Altered Terrain drawings & sculpture
January 9 – February 10, 2012
Waddell Art Gallery
Northern Virginia Community college - Loudoun Campus
1000 Henry Flood Byrd Highway
Sterling, VA 20164

In my most recent mixed media drawings, I create a lively interplay between real and surreal expression. I pair the unexpected: nooses with mega-coal-mining equipment, forks with purses, and Christmas lights with asthma inhalers. Each piece is built around a single real or symbolic object or group of items that seem unrelated to each other. Like Rene Magritte, who painted "the apparent visible and the hidden visible--which, in nature are never separated", my work points to the something invisible hiding in something more obviously visible.

The fun for me is in trying out unusual combinations of forms and solving the mysteries of the links between them. Finely honed technique and a strong concern for the environment pair up with a personality characterized by a questioning bent and a sense of humor to form these stories of the American landscape and our consumption of it.

© Copyright Second River Studio

Altered Terrain
October 1 – October 30, 2010
Artists Talk October 17, 2pm

Touchstone Gallery
901 New York Avenue NW
Washington, DC 2000
202-347-2787
www.touchstonegallery.com

The road of life has taken me from the volcanic deserts and farms of southern Idaho, through the rolling Kansas hills, into the northern Virginia suburbs where hardwood forests and small farms compete with shopping malls, homes and superhighways. Once my paintings were about wild landscapes whose pristine beauty stopped me in my tracks. As I observed the land changing radically over the years, I began to draw and sculpt a different scene. Everywhere I see connections between an altered terrain and the often absent people who transform it.

Inspiration also comes from 17th century Dutch paintings of wealthy sea merchants (profiled largely above the horizon line), surreal paintings of Rene Magritte and Frida Kahlo, and the figures of Italian painter Arcimboldo, composed of fruits and vegetables, the very foods that sustain humankind. Likewise my drawings and collages are metaphors for American culture and commerce. Figures dominate some drawings and hide within others, becoming a composite of the world around me, and revealing associations that a viewer might not have seen before. I pair nooses with mega-coal-mining equipment, cross grave markers with a parking lot, and rubber duckies with live ducks. Small square collage drawings are succinct thumbnails of themes revealed in larger compositions.

Sculptures in the exhibit also reflect the effect of humans upon the land and its wild creatures. They are made from cast off detritus: wood, metal, glass, plastic and remains of animals: fur, bone, feathers. Textures, aging patinas and tool shapes recall a landscape that has come and gone. Remaining for centuries, however, will be the bits of plastic. They are truly archival and unable to decompose into recyclable elements.

© Copyright Second River Studio

Paradise in the Balance
Dadian Gallery
Wesley Theological Seminary
Washington, D.C. 20016

January 22 - March 12, 2010
Artist Talk & Reception Feb 11 at noon

This exhibit reflects my life experiences with the land. While pairing light bulbs with bones, forks with birds, and Christmas lights with asthma inhalers I fashion a language of symbols that tell a story. Each ink/watercolor drawing or collage is built around these real or symbolic objects. They may seem unrelated to each other, but actually reflect the increasing impact of humankind upon Earth's living biospheres, which The Creator of All so deliberately and magnanimously designed throughout the eons.

In some works, a written litany of endangered or extinct species are my lament for all the creatures great and small that humankind has so casually abandoned in our pursuit of alternative paradises. Finely honed technique and a strong concern for the environment pair up with a personality characterized by a questioning bent and a sense of humor to form these surreal pictures; stories of the American landscape and our disconnects-connections to it. The fun for me is in trying out unusual combinations of forms and solving the mysteries of the links between them. I hope viewers will see themselves in the River of Life Runs Through Me portion and recognize questions posed in the other pictures, questions that ask each of us how we are called to be responsible stewards of the wonderful, but rapidly diminishing Web of Life.

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