As an artist who began working in the mid ’60s, fresh out of college after a year of studying painting in Paris, the non-representational or abstraction was my point of departure and exploration. It was a heady time for abstract art, and while my influences were sometimes from nature, devoid of people, the vocabulary of my paintings was color in all of its glorious forms.
I have never made working sketches. Thus, the images which evolve from my brushes come from both intuition and an internal intellectual conversation about making choices. This is the state of being of an artist.
My series of acrylic striped paintings, based upon a process of letting paint drip down the raw canvas, then layering, building the overall image slowly and steadily until the whole was created, referenced calligraphy or calligraphic strokes, wrote one art critic in the 1980s. After more than 50 years of being an artist, this seems now like a true vision into the future.
From the time I was in college I dreamed of going to Japan to study calligraphy. Thirty five years later, in 1999, I began my study of calligraphy with Mieko Kobayashi Sensei of Gunma, Japan. I divided my time between Boston and Japan, living there for two years and returning 6 times for three months to study. It was a life-changing process which continues to this day.
After receiving my artist name, I was invited to demonstrate Japanese Calligraphy at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in 2009. I continue to both study with encouragement from Kobayashi Sensei of Takasaki, Gunma. Japan. Without her willingness to accept me as a foreigner who spoke no Japanese at the time, none of this would have happened. She is both muse and mentor. While I never imagined when beginning my studies that I would exhibit my work, recently my calligraphy has been exhibited in Japan, China, the United States, and Australia.
As a founder and regular contributor to Beyond Calligraphy, a website devoted to the art of calligraphy, I hope to inspire others to learn and appreciate this ancient art form.