My ink paintings incorporate characteristics of what has been termed “formline” art, the art of the indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest Coast between Yakutat Bay, Alaska and northern Vancouver Island, British Columbia. This decorative and representational art is defined by very strong traditions including a limited color palette, a varying degree of realism sometimes approaching abstraction, and incorporation of specific design elements including continually tapering and turning formlines, distinctive ovoid shapes, U” shapes, “S” shapes, and characteristic eye structures, to name a few. The formlines define the overall shape of the subject and invite the eye to travel continuously around the image, without leaving it. They can convey a sense of motion and vitality. These aspects of the art make it readily recognizable as a unique regional style.
I do not represent my paintings (or myself) as “Native American”. My work sometimes contains trees, flowers, rocks, or other objects seldom, if ever found in the traditional art. I find that formline art offers many opportunities and challenges in creating balanced, visually pleasing compositions. I enjoy exploring the limits of the art, and promoting awareness and appreciation of this unique art form and the First Nations cultures in which it was developed.
I have been a Lemon Street Gallery member since 2019.