(un)familiar forms

“If the painter is open to the world, everything becomes grist for the mill, even things one doesn’t expect or even doesn’t consciously like or want.” -Stuart Shils, painter

Sometimes I “find” poetry in the environment. Sometimes I create it from the raw material available to me. Finding structure within the chaos of my material surroundings makes me feel immersed in the world. Structure in the unstructured. Meaning in the meaningless. Metaphor in the gestures and materials of everyday life.

It was structure that attracted me to cardboard box designs and paper goods, boxes from food items, India ink bottles, junk mail, and the cardstock tags from discounted clothing purchases. Each fulfills some very specific function, with just the right amount of material, folded just the right way. Efficient and intentional. I made collagraph prints from their surfaces and in some instances, I deconstructed the objects to reveal their structure. The resulting eerie artifacts, or x-ray-like images reveal, in simple black and white, the texture, shape, and surface detail of these common, cheap objects that move “stuff” in and out of our lives, but are never really considered themselves.

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