Drawing is the most spontaneous and intimate record of the hand. In my experience it is the most qualified action to access the edge of memory. I rely on it entirely in my studio, where landscape and drawing are in a lifelong conversation.
I am interested in what drawing inherently reveals, what slips out of me and speaks of knowledge otherwise unrecognized. I know I am truly working when a drawing tells me more after it is done than I knew before it began. And because I came to drawing early on through a relationship with a specific landscape, landscape holds the defining place as a source for my work more than any other subject, over the human figure for instance, or the purely conceptual, or purely political. Yet what interests me more than the shape of landscape is the relationship between landscape and identity: how it defines who we are, how the mistaken possession of a given place can form us, and how our identity can be threatened or destroyed when we lose the landscape that gives meaning to us.
I was raised on isolated, open rangeland, high desert that is austere and arid. A minimal palette occurs under a huge volume of space. The quality of natural silence in this landscape, both auditory and visual, carries over to where I work now in southern New Mexico and engenders a spare view of the world. As a younger artist I felt at ease among the Minimalists under whose shadow I studied, but eventually the issues that engaged me required personal investigation, that of the land, of nature, of my nature. Pressed into environmental activism at the same moment, my drawings matured alongside advocating for the protection of desert playas and remote aquifers. Sensitivity to the human imprint that can mar and permanently alter the character of such a place remains in my work, as well as pursuing the definition of beauty and value in relation to landscapes commonly dismissed.
Of importance are these two primary elements that function in tandem in my studio, where place is a catalyst for drawing yet the aim is to access that edge of knowledge revealed when a drawing makes itself. With little to anchor the work but just enough reference, drawing leads me to the universal experience of psyche, memory, and identity. This is the type of investigation I value in a given work, my own and others. Rather than experiencing drawing through narrative or representation, it is to rely on genetic memory, the collective unconscious of the knowledge of nature, the real force of nature, rather than the image of it. I believe we are all essentially seeking this, the real force, the fact of the ineffable.