My signature ‘style’ began as a pun. I was mounting a show of paintings and sculpture in New Hope, Pennsylvania and I hung a painting called the ‘Wing Chair.’ The chair’s ‘wings’ were bird’s wings and in the seat of the chair was – what else? – an egg. I was pleased with that piece and I did several others, including one of an overstuffed Victorian chair that was an abundantly flowered Victorian garden.
Nature is so often the inspiration for design: a wingback chair creates a nest, a cabriole leg has the bend of the branch, wicker is mindful of ferns. What could be more literal than a camelback couch or a claw-footed table? I have merely reversed the interpretation process.
I also do paintings interpreting musical instruments. A grand piano is wonderfully evocative. The keyboard puts me in mind of a waterfall splashing onto the piano bench. The open lid may be the spread of a peacock’s plumage. The harp has a wonderfully graceful shape. In fact, many of the string instruments are rich with imagery and some of the brass instruments, too. The bell of a horn is reminiscent of flowers with bell-shaped blossoms – amaryllis or morning glory. A trumpet from a trumpet vine gives meaning to the names mankind has picked for plants.
People ask me all the time, ‘How do you keep coming up with your ideas?’ To me, the ideas are the easy part and I have hundreds stored in my head, on sketchpads. The time it takes to fully execute each one is the real challenge.
I’m thrilled people react well to my work. It seems many of those who are familiar with my work have chosen a favorite. That inspires me. I want to think I’m working on someone’s favorite right now.