The 3-D aspect of doll making and the act of sawing, pounding and chiseling combined with the noise of power tools is very satisfying. I’ve made many dolls over the years, mostly constructed of wood with soft textile bodies, sewn and contructed with found applied objects. But I’ve only made them occasionally … and mostly when I’m stuck .... and I can’t paint for whatever reason. My most recent dolls of 2015-2016 are cut-outs from paintings on panel placed in a 3-D stage-set environment.
Masks & Faces were done over thirty years tracing many avenues of thought. Some playful. Some poignant. Over the years, I have turned to these small drawings as a diversion from my main work, although I began by using them in a series of drawings reflecting the conflicts in Guatemala and El Salvador. Back in the 1980’s, I used the little mask images along the borders of these drawings to represent those people who were “dis-appeared” during the conflicts. I was also interested in my father’s collection of Mexican masks and I was collecting Mexican folk art as well. Sometimes I’ve begun a whole series of mask/faces just for the fun of it, as a warm-up exercise. I sketch out a new little card every day, to be set aside until the next day, then work on the previous days’ cards, maybe four or five at a time, playing with color, media and line. I allow myself to freely respond to materials and image for a couple hours at the start of my day, and because they’re small things they happen very fast. These exercises serve to loosen me up before I work on more sophisticated drawings.
The Machines Series explores the apparatus, which holds family members together. Moving fluidly from parent to child to parent again, but it can, just as often be heard clanking and sputtering like some old rusty machinery. We are supported and equally constrained by this apparatus … by all we have loved, and all who love us.