tree of life

Stories are the fabric of our culture and foundations we can use to make our way in the world. There are many universal themes that resonate across cultures. Fables, whether mythological or fantastic, offer a chance to explore human nature and our place in the world.  Some are true, some unreal, and some are absolutely magic. My paintings often explore familiar narratives and symbols encountered in world religions. Many years ago, I was a student of iconography and was exposed to Early Christian paintings which were used to teach ancient stories thru pictures offering the viewers visual cues, especially to those who didn’t read. As a young art student I soon began to recognize the consistencies of these pictorial artifacts in carvings, paintings and stained glass. As I learned this rich vocabulary of symbols imbued with meaning across generations, I realized that many of the images cross cultural boundaries as well. They are universal. The tree of life has reappeared in my work over decades. One of those rich and constant themes that lends itself to reinterpretation. I was recently asked to revisit it for a commission for  the the Lutheran Church.

As a contemporary artist my aim is to digest and reflect the symbols around us that speak universal truths while reflecting the age in which I live. Though my subjects are often ancient, my depictions aim to be entirely fresh and modern. I am a colorist and aspire to harmonious compositions that engage and delight their audience. Most of all, I want my imagination to have a memory.

An earlier collection of works on paper was inspired by a commission for a Tree of Life from an avid art collector and curator who wanted to give a wedding present to a longtime friend. As I embarked on an exploration of this potent image, full of resonance relating to life’s rituals and the passage of time and its meaning in families and fables, I realized that to do it justice would take more than one piece. Thus, so one piece turned into many.

US Embassy, Doha Qatar

*Much of this collection was on loan to the American Embassy in Doha, Qatar through the Arts in Embassies Program. 

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