I have pursued art my entire life, including writing a rather bad novel at the precious age of 13. I discovered decorative art in my 30s and declared “That’s what I want to do!” I left a stodgy Silicon Valley job and founded my business, A Fine Finish Studio, in 2007.
My experience with decorative finishes includes working with plasters. I moved from covering walls in plaster to creating fine art pieces, which is a uniquely “me” combination of talent and medium. The majority of what you see in my art are processes I either invented or adapted from other art forms, especially traditional bas relief.
I trowel different types of plaster onto canvas, mason board, or foam board in layers to achieve the appearance and tactility of rock, tile, etc.. I use paints, glazes, and powder pigments to fashion different elements. Techniques from other artistic disciplines, such as trompe l’oeil painting, are also employed to enhance dimensionality. Images in the plaster, such as petroglyphs and fossils, are created with hand-made forms.
Lately, I’ve delved into creating high (alto) relief pieces, which includes creating original pieces and then casting a mold, or piping plaster onto the surface and then carving it.
Inspiration comes to me from many places. I like to throw everything into my idea hopper, mix it up, and see what comes out. I draw on my other passions, including archaeology, history, science in general, writing, and even cartoons. I love the idea of telling a story or thought in one image.
I’m also inspired by ancient cultures, their art, and artists. From Native American rock art to Roman mosaics, Japanese kimonos, and Celtic knots, I am amazed at the beauty created by ancient artists using ancient techniques and tools. For example, creating one of my reproduction petroglyphs with plaster and forms might take me 8 or so work hours. When I think about how long it took the original artist to create an image by carving it out of stone, I am humbled. Since we can’t take home ancient art, I choose to create pieces that history and art lovers can display and enjoy.
In addition to creating beautiful art, my goal is to make you smile, take a closer look at the piece, or provoke a thought or emotion.