Tell us about your background.
I received a BFA in Illustration from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA. I received an MFA with and emphasis in Printmaking from the University of Connecticut in Storrs. Since 1992, I have been a professor in the Art and Music Department at Framingham State University, serving as Chair of the Department from 2005-2012.
Name some people, artists, artistic genres, etc. that have been influential in your work.
I have been influenced by the German Expressionists (particularly Ernst Ludwig Kirchner), Edvard Munch, Anselm Kiefer, the Abstract Expressionists, Francisco de Goya, and Pablo Picasso.
Where and how do you get your ideas?
I get my ideas from looking at art, reading (particularly myths, fables, religious writings), personal experience and family stories, and travel. I keep sketchbooks in which small, quickly noted images, may become the building blocks of larger, more complex pieces.
What materials do you work with? Describe your technical process.
I work most often in color woodcut (multi-block, reduction, and jigsaw processes) using many different kinds of woods including cherry, pine, and plywood. I also do etchings, monotypes, and monotype/woodcut combinations. Occasionally I make handbound woodcut books.
What do you find to be the most challenging part of being creative? What is the best part of being creative?
I find the hardest part of being creative is that I also have to live my life in the real world and return to concrete solutions to day-to-day living. It would be wonderful if that part of my life was taken care of! The best part of being creative for me is having the liberty to take in what I see and imagine and manipulate that into images that intrigue me visually and intellectually, and hopefully do the same for others.
What advice would you give to someone seeking advice about being an artist?
Don’t neglect the financial aspect of life. Make sure that you have at least a minimum of a comfort level and stability so that you can consistently create work and be able to afford to pay for materials. The work does not necessarily have to be related to the arts, although given the choice, artists are usually happier if they can find work in the field even if it’s for a bit less money.