When I was a girl I fell in love with darkness. The tools I work with–pen, ink, clayboard–became natural choices for someone drawn to observe and record the world in close detail, and tools best to orchestrate the balance between opposing forces; light, dark; intimate, huge; static, moving. I am drawn too to the affinity with wood engravings, evoking references to former artistic traditions and styles. My imagery is thus layered with this synthesis of contrasts both personal and historic.
I work on white clayboard; which is a board that has a thick coating of Kaolin clay , often making my own clay pigments. It is a relatively new art process though it’s roots lie in some of mankind’s earliest attempts at creating art. The Cro-Magnons scratched pictures into rock or bone to tell their stories. As a visual storyteller my goal is to connect in this context by carving into this natural medium of clay that has been formed at the bottom of lakes.
I work on two types of scratchboard. The works on paper are manufactured in England with a cardboard base. The clay boards, invented by Charles Ewing are coated on archival masonite and manufactured by Ampersand. Both types of board provide me a surface in which I can build upon with inks and additional clay prior to scratching them away with razor sharp tools. Recently, I have also been experimenting with the kaolin on papyrus and handmade papers.
The process of scraping the inks off of the clay is my favorite experience in creating the piece. It is a performance that celebrates the articulation of lines. The movement of my wrist and arm are rhythmic in nature not unlike a performance of a jazz musician or a dancers fluid movement . . .