Most people would say one person can’t do both science and art. But I’m a testament to the fact that you can. I teach science because I get to pass on my fascination for how the natural world works. I also make art, which is an investigation of a different sort – how to solve a visual puzzle.
With a nod to Thomas Edison, I’d say making art is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent problem-solving. The inspiration for my collages comes from the choice of a color palette and the serendipitous juxtaposition of patterns on hand-made collage papers. Once the inspiration is, quite literally, glued down, the problem-solving begins. Is there a variety of size and scale? Do translucent areas play off opaque ones? Are the values balanced? Once these problems are resolved through layers of paint, drawing, and more collage and nothing else cries out to be fixed, the piece is complete.
I learned most of what I know about drawing and painting from attending classes at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia. In addition, I learned the particulars of working abstractly by studying with Kassem Amoudi and collage techniques through study with Jane Davies.