Home » Projects » Blends and Common Threads

My abstract paintings relate to organic social phenomena and unseen patterns of human behavior in our constructed common worlds. My own multi-cultural awareness has shaped a deep interest in personal identity vs. community growth, energy and bonding, group formation, group movement, and human social behavior. Abstraction serves as a metaphor for this commentary on social interactions. My images explore forms as individuals of unique character, yet also as part of the collective energy of a whole, symbolically referencing how lives and relationships intersect and synchronize, self-segregate, and become interdependent. I visually explore themes of crossing boundaries and barriers, moving in and out of spaces designed and navigated by intent or default, toward an end of healing and harmonious understanding. Though my work is abstract and formal, the themes and emotions from which it develops are real.

The Blends series of paintings serve as a way to explore my own multi-culturalism as a uniquely blended individual, as well as collect and combine stories from other friends and acquaintances. This series began as an experiment to use content as a way into abstraction. The paintings develop from solicited lists of real peoples’ cultural and ethnic backgrounds, as well as the stories that come along with the lists. The blended-ness of people creates interesting identity issues that my “portraits” explore through formal investigation: colors are clean, but layered together they become new shapes, and the paintings develop as I incorporate the parts into harmony. I explore edges where intentions slip and overlap, forming areas of rejection or incorporation, all with shimmering, saturated color and a glass-like surface that leans toward reflection. Each piece is slowly developed in layers, and is as carefully composed as it is considered in light of the individual story from which it originates.

Another series titled Common Threads comprises of abstract paintings that metaphorically allude to the links, or threads, tying people, groups, and communities together across differences. We often find ourselves faced with addressing the differences between people, via identity, politics, economic stature, family origin, and more. Real entwined thread, or pulled lengths of wool, in the Common Threads paintings are a metaphor for commonly shared experiences bridging these different identity issues. Shared experiences bind people and their histories together in intimately interesting ways. I am working to use these links and metaphoric threads as a means to find common ground and harmony.