about the artist
San Francisco, California
Master of Library and Information Science
BFA (Painting and Drawing and Interior Design)
photo archivist, art consultant, picture framer
fine art, architecture, natural science, archaeology
I have worked in various mediums over the years but the two that I work with most frequently are painting and photography. There are a wide range of subjects that I enjoy working with but in particular I am interested in natural science (fossils, geography, anatomy, plants, animals, etc.), archaeology and anthropology, natural and urban environments, and architecture. I like the look of structures, such as buildings and bridges but also bones and skeletal structures or the branches of a tree. I also find empathy to be a recurring theme in my work.
I prefer painting with vibrant colors and some amount of contrast, with bright areas and deep shadows. Though my work can have an abstract look, there are also areas of realism and recognizable subjects. I also find that many subjects can look interesting depending on the composition or color so despite returning to some of my favorites again and again, I’m always searching for something new to explore.
While I was studying painting, drawing, interior design, and architecture as an undergraduate, I took several courses in photography and film. Over the years I have continued to take photos and recently I've had a renewed interest in video and film. Many of the subjects and themes that I photograph can also be found in my paintings. Also, while I take photos as fine art pieces in their own right, I find photography to be a very useful way to create reference materials for my paintings and other artwork.
Tafoni Rock Formations
Just a few hours away from San Francisco along the Northern California coast are several locations where the interesting rock formation called tafoni can be found. One of my favorite subjects to photograph, tafoni develops in sandstone that has been altered through a process called cavernous weathering. This uneven erosion of sandstone creates pits that look like a honeycomb.
When you arrive at these locations, it is not obvious at first that these unusual rock formations are nearby. You need to walk across the grassy landscape to the ocean's edge to find these interesting forms. The various shapes and cavernous surfaces can spark the imagination. These locations have an otherworldly look, as if you are on another planet.
There are two different locations depicted in the set of photos. Even though they are each just a few miles apart, there is quite a bit of variety in the formations. Some sections have a fair amount of the signature cavernous or honeycomb look while others are more puffy and smooth. The colors range from light gray to light sandy yellow to charcoal black and there are also some small patches of red visible.
I like to think of these rock formations as "nature's architecture." The shapes remind me of the structures and features of a building, like windows and rooms. They are also a great example of my interest in archaeology, such as the pueblos at Chaco Canyon. I am interested in documenting the rock formations over time to see which parts have eroded and which look the same.
In addition to tafoni, I also enjoy photographing birds. Ravens, crows, seagulls, and pelicans are often seen in the areas that I tend to photograph and they are also some of my favorite subjects to compose within an image. I especially find crows and ravens to be pretty amusing to watch.
Different weather conditions in the area change the look and feel of the environment and the resulting photos. The fog creates a mysterious feel while a sunny day can emphasize the cavernous shapes. Sometimes it is quite windy with cold temperatures but the beautiful and unusual scenery makes the challenge worth it.