Perhaps because of my upbringing in Asian countries, using an ancient technique to create colorful, abstracted pieces of art excites and intrigues me. The traditional Korean paper-making technique of Joomchi dates back to the 14th century and is the cornerstone of my artistic practice. Layers of 100% mulberry, or Hanji, are kneaded with the hands and mixed with water to fuse the fibers into a durable, textured, cloth-like paper. When finished, unique and abstracted shapes and layers reference nature’s bounty with blended fibers, colors, and unforeseen twists — a true blending of the old and new.
My inspiration comes largely from nature… the young green of budding spring trees, the deep texture of storm clouds, the intricacies of a spider’s web, the surprise in each day’s sunrise and sunset. In addition to Joomchi, eco-dyed and acrylic abstract florals and mixed media landscapes expand my homage to nature. Each of these processes require patience as well as skill, and a love of the unexpected. There is planning, selection of materials, composition, painting, layering, kneading, manipulation, drying, and with eco-dyeing, also binding and cooking actual pieces of nature, such as leaves and twigs.
When creating a piece of art, I orchestrate the shapes, patterns, textures and colors into a composition at once unique and unified. I try to play just the right notes to bring the viewer into harmony with my work.
I was born in upstate New York, but spent most of my formative years living in India and Pakistan as a foreign service dependent. I returned to the United States to attend college, earned a BA in English from Mary Washington College, then travelled back to Asia to work at a small independent K-8 school in Kabul, Afghanistan. Thereafter, I moved to Arlington, Virginia, taught high school English and Photojournalism in Fairfax County Public Schools and earned a MA in Secondary School Administration from George Mason University. After a 33-year teaching career, I pursued my love of other arts, studying watercolor painting, abstract acrylic painting, mixed media collage, eco-dying and Joomchi.