As a child, bored to tears with grown up talk at the dining room table, I stared at the various dark, family portraits hanging on the walls. Who were these people? My dad told me to walk back and forth in front of the portraits. If the eyes followed me, it was a “good” portrait. The eyes followed, it was a powerful connection and I was hooked.

Four years at R.I.S.D., Peace Corps Peru, marriage, kids, communal living on a farm, and then a move to Tivoli, NY.
1990 was a terrible year. The twenty-two year old son of good friends was murdered in Boston, and a close college friend of our daughter’s committed suicide.

I couldn’t work. I needed to be alone and start over. I left my family and took my paints to an island where some friends had an empty house. I fasted and messed around with paints, and one day I looked in the mirror and thought maybe a self-portrait would help me feel more grounded. It did, and I rediscovered the power of working directly from life. The result was “Self Portrait with Blackbirds” which led to my life’s work.

I have made paintings, drawings, and sculpture about our bodies, about love, about laughter, and about pain. Each and every person who has modeled for me has a place in my heart for which I will always be grateful.