As a teacher, I often forget to take photos of my students’ finished work; however, I have captured hundreds of pictures of students in the process of creating. While I do find their finished pieces to be extraordinary, it is their processes—their interactions with materials and negotiating of ideas—that I find most compelling.
This focus on process is also what drives my own studio practice. I do not begin a piece or a series knowing what it will be about or what it will look like. Through layering, erasing, taping over, dampening, ripping away, and smudging I connect memories, people, moments, and places with the actions of my hands and the marks made. The act of making connects me to deeper meaning.
For this series, I’ve chosen materials that lend themselves to this notion of process. The newsprint, humble in stature and non-archival in nature, is used by many artists as strictly a preliminary or practice surface. In fact, the newsprint used in this series has already begun to yellow and warp. In time, it will inevitably crumble. In a similar vein, the charcoal, untreated, will smear and soften as a result of its environment. These changes, though, allow my work to be constantly in process. The materials I’ve used are like living things; they change, shift, and fade over time.