I attempt to create artistic works which are evocative in nature. Thematically, my work often depicts relationships- between people or among forms in three dimensional space. Some works are purely whimsical.
I use sculpture as a vehicle to express my aesthetic sensibilities. The choice of wood as my preferred medium relates to its living and organic nature, the diverse challenges of its many textures and grains and its inherent warmth and sensuality which readily invite touch. I seek to simplify my work in a way as to capture some essence of the subject and present it in a way which accomplishes the most with the least amount of complexity. I value simplicity in form, efficiency in the use of lines and attempt to portray my subject matter through its fundamental qualities or nature.
As a sculptor and clinical psychologist I am also committed to supporting the expanding role and positive impact of the arts in healthcare environments- especially their beneficial effects on patients and their families’ experience of care. I see the subtractive or ‘take-a-way’ process of direct carving as a loose metaphor for some methods of psychotherapy- removing obfuscating layers to reveal a solution or truth embedded within and ferreting out the ‘signal’ from the ‘noise’.
I am a direct carver who works almost exclusively in wood albeit on occasion I will cast a clay piece in plaster. Most of the exotic hardwoods I use were procured over 40 years ago before deforestation and environmental concerns made this an unsound practice. Since then, I have acquired raw wood materials from felled trees, recycling centers and from the razing of old buildings. New wood is cut to size and the exposed ends painted so as to force the moisture to evaporate slowly thru the bark-minimizing cracking and checking. This method slows drying to about an inch per year.
I examine each piece for cracks/checks then study its inherent possibilities taking into account its grain, color, density and any unique defects. I try to visualize forms I believe are already contained within the wood-using my skills to release them. Main shapes are roughed out with an adz, axe or saw, As the concept crystallizes, I use a wide variety of wood chisels, rasps and rifflers to remove waste and refine the forms through a series of successive approximations. Finally, each work is sanded and smoothed with a variety of abrasive tools and papers. No stains, dyes or artificial surface finishes are used, only neutral penetrating oils and/or clear wax.