I grew up on a farm in Nebraska, and early on recognized the cycles of nature – this repetition found in nature is an important influence on my work. I was a mathematician before I was an artist. I have an undergraduate degree in mathematics, and have taught high school and college mathematics.
When I began painting, I started with landscape, then abstraction of landscape, and finally added a mathematical structure of nature (the Fibonacci Sequence) to the mix. The Fibonacci Sequence consists of the numbers 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, . . . where the next number in the sequence is the sum of the two preceding numbers. These numbers are found throughout nature. Eventually, what was primary in my work was this structure, and for over thirty years I have created pieces based on the Fibonacci Sequence.
During this time, I was also exploring other patterns and sequences. In the fall of 2003, I took a class at the Manhattan Graphics Center in silk screen printing. I fell in love with the media, and have been using it since. I have created silk screen prints (serigraphs) that incorporate Moire’ patterns, repetition, pixels, chaos, and optical art as well as imagery from photos that I scan into the computer and manipulate in Photoshop.
I have always used patterns and mathematics in my art work. I use repetition to create pattern. With pattern there is structure, which gives us a sense that we are in some way in control of our existence. In giving our world structure, we gain an understanding of the world. Mathematics is simply structure based on pattern, whether the simplistic pattern of odd and even numbers, or the more complex patterns of fractals.
Language is also based on patterns (like the language of mathematics: another way to communicate, or share information). In this case, they are linguistic patterns. Patterning in language is what allows us to communicate. Without repetition, we simply can not communicate.
Repetition (and thus pattern) also communicates on a spiritual level. In a non-verbal way, it is a reinforcement of ourselves, a way of telling us who we are from a natural innate source. A way of telling us that we are a part, we “fit.” When my work is most successful, it communicates not only on a “recognition of pattern” level but also on a spiritual level.