The Collector’s Confession 1999-2002

The Collector’s Question

The Collector’s Question | 2001 | 38" x 36" | acrylic and mixed media on birch panel

The Collector’s Dream

The Collector’s Dream | 2001 | 38" x 36" | acrylic and mixed media on birch panel

The Collector’s Secret

The Collector’s Secret | 2001 | 38" x 36" | Collection of The Taubman Museum of Art

The Collector’s Research

The Collector’s Research | 2001 | 38" x 36" | acrylic and mixed media on birch panel

The Collector’s Story

The Collector’s Story | 2001 | 38" x 36" | acrylic and mixed media on birch panel

The Collector’s Confession

The Collector’s Confession | 2001 | 38" x 36" | acrylic and mixed media on birch panel

The Collector’s Confession

The Collector’s Confession | DETAIL

The Collector’s Plan

The Collector’s Plan | 38" x 36" | acrylic and mixed media on birch panel

The Collector’s Calendar

The Collector’s Calendar | 2002 | 38" x 36" | acrylic and mixed media on birch panel

The Collector’s Past

The Collector’s Past | 2001 | 38" x 36" | acrylic and mixed media on birch panel

The Collector’s Planet

The Collector’s Planet | 2002 | 38" x 36" | acrylic and mixed media on birch panel

The Collector’s Obsession

The Collector’s Obsession | 2002 | 38" x 36" | acrylic and mixed media on birch panel

The Collector’s Confession series, along with the smaller Animal Works paintings, traveled from 2002-2004, culminating at the Fernbank Museum in Atlanta, Georgia. This is the statement for the show:

Surrounding my desk as I write are specimens collected from the natural world – a fern fossil, a wren’s nest, a brown-streaked conch, a tiny bird skull, a crow feather – just a few of the objects that have peaked my curiosity, fascinated my eye, and found their way from forest and field and shore into my personal space.  And I’m not alone – others collect and create personal “shrines,” or arrangements of their natural discoveries.  Whether on an intimate scale, or on the scale of Charles Darwin who during the voyage of the Beagle collected thousands of specimens to bring back to England, the impulse begins in the same way: from sheer curiosity and a desire to possess.  Be it for the gathering of data or treasure, for analysis or reverence, once the collected objects are named, shelved, and disassociated from their original function, they may become part of our deeper human awareness, often beyond their original purpose.  How do the striped feather, the tangled nest, and the fossil sketch assembled on the shelf above me relate to each other?  Collectors invent their own relationships – organizing but also disrupting, taking from each mysterious order to create new combinations.   These are the ideas I explore in The Collector’s Confession series of paintings, in which the feather, nest, and egg are the symbolic focus.

To do this each painting is divided into a multi-sectional format, with different areas built up with found materials or modeling paste to create a highly textured surface, while other areas are detailed and glazed smooth.  Often I adhere actual spiral-bound books or pages to the surface of the painting to suggest a common field journal.  I’m particularly interested in the visual counterpoint of rough textures with refined images, of activity with stillness.  The look of writing is an important element, appealing to me in the way it visually weaves around images, while also suggesting the wish to impress our own sense of order and meaning upon the natural world.