A brief statement about my work should begin with the fact that my visual arts career is only part of what I do and how I define myself as a person. I work also as a stroryteller, puppeteer, co-director of Catbird Press, and as an advocate for disability issues. I am also a parent, and I love to garden. I was drawn to printmaking because of the expressive nature of its history. As a lover of poetry and storytelling, I am naturally drawn to works that use both words and images.
I heard a statement attributed to the writer Mary Oliver, that the only choice we really make in our lives is the choice between despair and joy. As an artist, the choice to work at all is a move toward joy, or perhaps, at least, toward hope. The experiences of my recent past have included the illness and death of my father, a continued and growing sense of frustration at our involvement in the war in Iraq, my efforts to live gracefully within a body defined increasingly by disability and aging, and the joy and sadness of watching my children grow into increased independence in an increasingly dangerous world. Arundhati Roy has said that artists are meant to “worry the edges of the human imagination, to conjure beauty from unexpected things, to find magic in places where others never thought to look.” The edges of my own imagination are constantly focused on the choice between joy and despair in my own experiences. In giving these experiences visual form, I live them again, understand them anew, and give them away.
As to the question of what I make and why I make it, I will say that all of the works are a combination of etchings, woodcuts, and are often in artist book form. All use handmade papers and combine words and images, with the hope that they are clearly emotionally affirmative, even if the imagery is difficult. They are figurative, though often ambiguous in terms of gender, race or location. I make them because I love my craft. I keep working because what we make affirms what we hope for in the world.