My work is all about color. Born in New York City, my earliest childhood memories are of neon signs flashing a rainbow of colors on busy Audubon Avenue, and the black and white porcelain tiles in the foyer of our apartment building, with its unappealing mustard color walls. I can remember with perfect clarity the exquisite shade of celadon on my grandmother's coffee mugs, but have little recollection of the kitchen that housed them. I've always been able to recall the colors of anything and everything in my environment, but could not tell you what I was doing or where I was two days ago.
When my family moved from the Northeast to the wide open Great Plains, my color awareness was heightened further by Nature. There, spectacular sunsets spilled lavender, peach and crimson over endless vistas of golden wheat. In winter, permutations of gray and white blanketed the table-flat Kansas landscape in the form of snow and ice. This region's vast skies and unbroken horizons inform many of my abstract works, with my color choices serving as conduits for whatever message or meaning I want to convey.
Color is a wordless language everyone can understand. It's a repository of feelings and memories, both conscious and subconscious. The wellspring for all of my art, color holds personal connotations for me that run deep. My Dust Bowl Series, for instance, was inspired by towering clouds of red-brown dirt that literally buried a four state area in the 1930s. An elderly family member's recollections of that period touched me deeply. The images she conjured up resulted in Cimarron County, which depicts a looming dust storm, and Abandoned, both of which have been featured in a juried exhibition at the Booth Museum of Western Art.
More characteristically, though, works like Pueblo, Land of Enchantment and Turquoise Trail feature the palette I prefer: the golden yellows, turquoise blues and warm orange-reds of the desert Southwest – colors that evoke happy memories of vacations in Santa Fe and Sedona. Cheerful, lively colors such as these have predominated throughout my body of work the past several years.
Long before dedicating myself full time to making art in 2004, I was fascinated by the effects of color on people's physical and mental health. Twenty years spent in advertising and marketing exposed me to its use in influencing consumers' buying habits. But rather than use the power of color to manipulate others, my aim is using it to uplift and inspire. If someone's day is brightened by my efforts, all those prairie blizzards I endured will have been more than worth it.