sumi-e amusement park series

I first began studying sumi-e painting in 2002 while I was miscast as an Art History professor at the University of Houston. While my knowledge of western and contemporary art was strongly buoyed by my studio practice, my global art history knowledge was rather thin. The Chinese and Japanese paintings I studied completely humbled me. I was stunned by the incredible synthesis of abstract mark making and descriptive line.

After losing my studio and supplies in Hurricane Katrina, I began looking for non-toxic, easily portable art making solutions, and sumi-e seemed like a great match. I used some sumi-e in the PoMo series, but often felt as if it wasn't the best media match. I decided to wait a bit and let the subject matter percolate.

In the summer of 2007, inspiration struck. My three year-old daughter shook with excitement simply viewing the small rides at the Monmouth Fair in Central Maine. These structures which seemed at first glance to my aging eyes rusted, creaky and cheesy were full of hope, possibility and delight to Charlotte.

I am trying to compose inventive images, well considered yet playful, immediately accessible but layered and sophisticated. I hope they create spaces where children and crusty artists will want to stop, talk, look, and laugh. Mostly, I hope to make images that make Charlotte desperate for the next summer fair.




sumi-e amusement park series | artist statement

Coaster 5, sumi-e ink on paper, 22" x 30", 2007

Coaster 1, sumi-e ink on paper, 30" x 22", 2007

Carousel 2, sumi-e ink on paper, 30" x 22", 2007

Ferris Wheel, sumi-e ink on 4 sheets of 22"x30" of paper, 2007

Carousel, sumi-e ink on 6 sheets of 22"x30" of paper, 2007

Coaster 6, sumi-e ink on paper, 36" x 72", 2007

Drop, sumi-e ink on paper, 72" x 36", 2007

Antique carousel, sumi-e ink on paper, 30" x 22", 2007

Swing, sumi-e ink on paper, 10" x 8", 2007

Swing 2, sumi-e ink on paper, 30" x 22", 2007