The first really good drawing I made as a child was of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. My Catholic family had to approve, so my experience drawing the human figure started when I was very young. I remember sketching “girls” out of my head and making up personalities for them all through my childhood. In my first real art class (YMCA, 10 yrs. old) I learned to use pastels. I “painted” portraits (that hung in my mother’s hallway for the next 25 years!). Later, when I transitioned from a graphic designer and began to create fine art full time I was drawn once again to the medium of pastels. I can “draw” with them, and I love the lush, silky feel, rubbing them across a piece of sandpaper, blending layers of color with my fingertips to a creamy softness. Pastels are perfect for creating the look and feel of skin. Light and shadow melting across the figure of a woman inspires me to capture forever this delicate, fleeting beauty.
Light Through Glass series
The owner of one of the galleries I was in had called me to say he wanted me to do a solo exhibition in his gallery that spring. I asked him what kind of subject matter he wanted, as he represented a variety of my work. He said "How about nudes?" At the time I didn't have any nudes in my inventory so I said "How about florals?" He said "OK, florals." The next year he asked me the same thing, nudes for a solo exhibition, so I thought I better give it to him this time, even though I still had not done any more nudes. So having only about 2 months before the show, I asked a friend to model for me and came to her house one day with my camera. I usually shoot photos (lots of them) of my models and then work from, combine, and crop the images till I get something I can use as references. So I had brought with me all kinds of props; silk robes or scarves, bottles or vases with flowers, etc. I started posing her in all kinds of positions, with props, without props and by the end of the day I was bored out of my mind. I just wasn't coming up with anything interesting enough to want to paint, nothing that hadn't already been done before. I was getting very discouraged and my model wasn't very happy either. She was reclining on the floor in a spare, empty room. It was getting late, and the sun was hot as it poured through the window on the west side of the room. I reached down to pick up one of the colored glass bottles with a dried rose in it, just to get it out of the way, and set it on the window sill. That's when the miracle happened. The sun shone through the red colored glass and cast a bright red shadow sensuously across her body, wrapping itself around her curves in the most fascinating way. I practically jumped up and down, pointing and shouting "Oh, my God! Look at that! That's beautiful!"
I came back the next day at the same time and brought my whole collection of antique red & blue glass bottles with me, all with fresh or dried roses in them, and did a whole photo shoot with this concept.
I pulled lots of all-nighters working on the paintings to have them ready for the exhibition. The gallery owner loved them and was trying to come up with a name for the show. He called me with "This is not your Father's Oldsmobile" as his best idea, and on the spot I said "How about 'Light Through Glass'?" Done. So here are some of the paintings from that series.