“All Evidence of Truth comes only from the Senses”-    Friederich Nietzsche

What constitutes art?

This question has been mulled over for centuries in almost every culture. Skill and Intent are a component. The act of making, without regard to the result may be enough to earn the label. For me a sense of integrity, intent, truth are key components. Art has been dominated by the idea of newness for the last century, often eschewing beauty. There is nothing truly ‘new’ What is new ,in the sense of being different, is the uniqueness of the person/artist who is creating. I believe that the creator is a critical component in art. Be it the thought process, the medium, the idea that sparked the action, the manner in which an artist works- all are part and parcel of the end result. The way each artist sees and how, in turn, a work is seen may be the ultimate defining principle.

In my gilded art, there is always an idea or a story behind the work. Gilding is such a precise and painstaking medium that I need a story to sustain my interest over the months required to complete a piece. (see ‘process’)

These stories and the inspiration for  my work are almost exclusively found in nature- the landscape and life as I experience it.. My best art comes when I can delve into nature. Spring and summer inspire me, they fill up my senses. Fall and winter are quieter seasons when I move indoors and make art. I need quiet and solitude to work.    I am inspired by the riot of life that emerges each spring: Delicate flowers pushing through the frozen earth, buds that have quietly hung on through winter suddenly throb with life, the return of the birds and their song, the smell of fresh life. Summer brings more colorful and complicated flowers, twining vines, fragrant grass. The insects drone and buzz, dragonflies, butterflies and hummingbirds fill the sky. I am in awe of these events, more so with each passing year. The small things, the details, the patterns are enough, even before considering the larger landscape. My senses are filled with these images, this life.

All this informs and humbles me. I wonder, in the face of this, if there is a point in making art? Then I think of the stories imbedded in nature and the drastic change in society’s relationship with nature- the loss of natural habitat, the degradation, the disinterest or the lack of access to nature. These things make me want to make art that has nature as it’s theme. To go back into the studio and try again. To reconcile the beauty I see and the fullness I feel with the changing attitude toward nature.