Shadows & Silhouettes Statement
Shadows & Silhouettes
One afternoon I took a walk in my neighborhood, gazed at an ordinary house that I had passed hundreds of times before, and saw it in a completely new way. A large shape with graceful lines crisscrossed the home’s façade. Upon investigating, I realized the Sun was aligned with a utility pole at just the right angle to cast its silhouette. Surely I had seen this all along. I just hadn’t noticed.
Since that day I have found beauty in the shadows made by objects within the urban landscape usually considered ordinary or even ugly: utility poles, laundry drying outdoors, and exterior balconies and stairs that create repeating patterns of light and shade. Though these shapes seem fixed, they capture a specific moment in time. The Sun, with its daily march across the sky, ensures constant movement and change.
I am comforted that the city environment, which can seem harsh and impersonal at times, presents these beautiful expressions of the human element in concert with the natural world. The clothing appearing in many of my paintings adds a nostalgic component, as my mother dried the family laundry in our back yard when I was a child. The variations of color, pattern, and fabric speak to me about human individuality. Simultaneously, the laundry symbolizes that which is universal in human experience and connects us on a basic level.
San Francisco and neighboring Daly City provide my inspiration. My favorite pastime is to wander up and down Chinatown’s streets on a sunny day, enjoying the activity, sights and sounds. I always find something new to appreciate, returning home with an uplifted spirit.