Nature and the passage of time: these two themes consistently present themselves in my mixed media work. Layering materials is a key part of my process. Inspiration comes from geological formations like the Badlands of western Nebraska and South Dakota, whose exposed sedimentary layers show the effects of water and wind over millions of years; or interiors, where layers of wallpaper each tell a story about a space’s former inhabitants.
The materials I use are common and time tested—paints, colored pencils, India ink, coiled string, bits of leather, and fragments of maps long obsolete. Hand sewing into paper or carefully winding leather around a feather’s shaft allows me to feel a spark of kinship with those who engaged in such handiwork in the past.
Vintage maps both inspire line and forms in my compositions and act as collage material. I have used them to fashion a sandhills crane’s feathers, imagining the bird bore them as a record of its travels. Because the maps are out of date I feel free to reenvision geographic boundaries myself, turning a map of Nebraska, for instance, into a patchwork composite of organic forms and waterways. I find rivers particularly compelling as symbols of transformation. Nature is the lens through which I see complex concepts illustrated.