I am a storyteller. It is my fascination with stories that drives my visual work. The characters and settings of stories I’ve gathered over the years, both through my own experience and the testimony of others, congeal in often fragmented landscapes and figures. It is in the moments of hyperbole which I find the most fascination. A person relating a memory or something which he or she has witnessed gets embellished just enough to make the story nearly unbelievable. In the Western United States at the turn of the 19th century, tales with those moments of exaggeration were called “tossing in another grizzly.” It is often those very moments I choose to depict in my drawings and prints.
Many of my works combine characters’ histories and mythologies that have roots in actual events with my own projections and inventions. I work on many projects at once. The stimulation of moving from a series of drawings back and forth between multiple suites of prints gives me the freedom to tell stories in a myriad of different ways. While my work is often autobiographical, by straddling multiple media and approaching each set of ideas separately, I feel that I am able to tell all of the stories which I want, even those not related to my personal experiences, and allow them to congeal through the way in which the narratives unfold.
I use many animals in my work most often as a stand-in for myself. Bulky, hairy beasts represent spectators or participants in the events surrounding them. Other animals can become characters, embodiments of events, or harbingers of change. Most of my work contains a nighttime skyline with information depicted in the constellations and the stars. These messages represent a desire to see the magic in the world and the universe and to derive a meaning from that magic even if it is superficially and awkwardly imposed.
Printmaking serves as a way for me to tell my stories over and over. Much like traditions in oral storytelling, the prints can carry my stories to many people. They become accessible because they are not unique and thereby not precious. It is the preciousness of the stories which I hope to preserve.