The series of works entitled Gymnopedies are mixed media paintings on paper and panel that
combine or include acrylic, casein, watercolor, pencil, collage and often Intaglio printing from
metal plates. Translated, Gymnopedies refers to ancient Greek choral dances, and is also the
title of a three part piano composition by the French composer Erik Satie (1866-1925). My love
of art history and music serve as a point of reference for my work. I am intrigued by the ancient
cultures of Rome, Greece and Egypt as well as the spiritual mysticism of Byzantine mosaics
and early illuminated manuscripts. My works are also influenced by the frescoes of ancient
Pompeii and Herculaneum, which I have been fortunate to study during my sabbaticals and
other periods of study on location. I strive to bring together ancient historical references with a
contemporary poetic as well as formalist expression.
I am very interested in proportion and scale, and through the use of linear divisions I investigate
varied mathematical relationships of parts to the whole. For me, these suggest a structural order,
an architectural stability. Along with the veils of color, they create an environment, a stage
within which the gestural fleeting marks, color, and collaged elements interact.
Most of the works on paper contain Intaglio printing from metal plates, which have gone through
a series of varied processes including soft ground etching, engraving, open bite, scraping, and
dry point. The plates are used primarily for gestural mark making, texture and relief, and
intentionally do not contain any of the divisions or structural elements. The plate is printed
multiple times with varied ink and paper combinations. These impressions are then used as the
basis for the development of the piece, each exploring different relationships. I work into these
pieces with paint, pencil and collage, and more or less of the original Intaglio image remains
Although my works explore an abstract sensibility, I incorporate images of birds and other
subjects taken from fragments of 18th, 19th and early 20th c. antique lithographs and engravings.
I am interested in the contrast which occurs when working with recognizable aspects of nature
in an unrecognizable environment. These small, collaged elements represent a variety of
Though many of these pieces hint at an architectural space, the series also includes 3D sculptural
works. These works build upon antique wood boxes and take on the more physical quality of
shrines, temples, or reliquaries of nature. The use of gold leaf and other metallic media, in both
the 2D and 3D works, vary the suggested space as one moves past the piece.
In all of my works I continue to contrast order and chaos, the fleeting and the permanent, the
ancient and the modern. This is an ongoing series.