Patterns are a ubiquitous aspect of our universe. They can emerge from chaos or from perfect math, and from countless places in between. A beehive, a galaxy, a turtle shell, an atom, a mold spore, a vine twisting around a branch – I am fascinated with and influenced by all.
My drawing process is guided by inconsistency and imperfection, the very things that make me human. In order to develop a deeper understanding of the natural world, I visually engage with the patterns and textures that I find so mystifying through the act of copying and altering them. I begin by replicating a specific pattern or concept, employing a system of deliberate markmaking that celebrates, and is usually guided by, the prospect of chance. I often utilize microscopes to identify source patterns in a process I call “sloppy scientific inquiry” – I am enthralled by visual investigation using scientific instruments, though I might not know the name of the mold or fungus sample that I’ve collected. Colors and mediums are selected throughout the creative process, as I respond to the initial marks in a fluid and free-form manner, while maintaining precision with the execution. While every piece is uniquely considered, my mixed-media drawings typically include any combination of: graphite, charcoal, ink, acrylic, gesso, marker, colored pencil, and chalk pastel.
As the result of an audio-sensory processing disorder, my brain occasionally magnifies certain sounds which I perceive to be louder and more dominant than they actually are, while some normal-volume sounds are barely audible; this can lead to a feeling of being trapped, inducing a fight-or-flight response. By quietly emulating the dominant sounds over which I have no control, I can regain authority over my environment; the invasive sounds become minimized, and the urge to escape subsides. My creative process is very similar – the visual investigation and interpretation of what I examine in the natural world, rooted in replication and emulation, results in systematic destruction and reassembly. The act of voluntarily copying a pattern or texture and then changing it to make it uniquely my own is the ultimate exercise in seizing and maintaining control of my surroundings, on my own terms.