Artist's Statement

Fairy Tale Series Statement

 

As a child in the 1920s, my father saved his lunch money to purchase, for the then princely sum of thirteen dollars, a long-coveted copy of Howard Pyle’s Book of Pirates. During my own childhood getting to look at the fearsome illustrations was a treat that involved washed hands and the comfort of my father’s lap. As my father shared the stories, I always asked and was always astonished by his response to my question: “Were they real?”

“Yes, yes they were,” he told me.

On Saturday trips to the library my sister my often took out one of the 14 Wizard of Oz books, beautifully illustrated by W.W. Denslow.  Sadly I was too young to read them and my sister didn’t offer, so I made up my own world from the pictures.

 

Growing up in a family of avid readers, I had the characters of L. Frank Baum, the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen as food for my imagination. These same stories have been the inspiration for a series of paintings, prints, books and sculptures I worked on between 1991 and 2014.

Later, as a young mother, I began creating collages, collecting material until I could find time to work. The Japanese-style books were designed to open so that the pages interrelated depending on how many were seen at a time. The first of them was shown at the Islip Art Museum in 1991. Many of my works are intended to opened and handled.

 

I began my Fairy Tale Series during a monoprint workshop in Philadelphia with Christine Staughton.  Rapunzel Writes a Letter is a series of prints reflecting on how Rapunzel spent her time in the tower. As part of this exploration I have created work based on The Wizard of Oz, Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood. Portraits of the Witch and functional sculptures -- Ogre Vases – are loosely based on a royal family of ogres. Fairy tales excite my imagination. They offer meaning on so many different levels. They call up memories from earliest experience and yet they offer a view to the human experience at a universal level.

Sketch for Wizard of Oz Trading Cards