We have all had unforgettable moments that lodge themselves deep in our consciousness. When recalled, invariably I feel compelled to try and represent them artistically. My life experience racing a bicycle has provided a multitude of images. These images have been central to the production of my art, because as I recall them, I feel compelled to try and represent them artistically.
To create this art, my chosen medium is cut paper, with which I employ a wide range of paper designs, kaleidoscopic colors and surface textures.
Acrylic medium, clear urethane, and a variety of adhesives are used to fix the paper on canvas or board. Acrylic paint, oil inks and spray paint are all occasionally added when cut paper can’t achieve what is needed for details of a piece.
Much of my work is representational and lyrical in nature. Bits of irony and a touch of humor are integral to the fabric of my work. The themes for my work are inspired by small images arising from my cycling experiences and enhanced by my imagination.
They have been translated into compositions by using the uniqueness in design, color and texture of the immense collection of paper I have accumulated from all over the world.
As a child, drawing was a conduit for my wild imagination. My sixth grade teacher loved teaching art, and introduced me to looking closely at my surroundings and recreating landscapes realistically in watercolor.
My working life has included two separate tenures of teaching middle school social studies in urban schools, but the majority of my career has been devoted to the business world and a 25+ year venture building a retail business that included four full line bicycle and sporting goods stores.
In the midst of full-time careers, I competed at the highest levels of bicycle racing, and was periodically inspired to create work for my own pleasure.
In 2010 a series of serendipitous events veered my life in an entirely new direction. Let me introduce you to DUG Art.
The event in 2010 was a trip to the Eric Carle Museum of Children’s Books in Amherst, Massachusetts. For his famous children’s books, Carle uses a cut or torn paper background with an acrylic type of liquid medium for the background. After our visit, we tried out samples of these materials in a museum classroom.
In the spring of 2011, another event changed my life completely. While racing in Cambridge, NY, I had a major crash. EMTs on the scene stabilized my condition and arranged an airlift to the Albany Medical Center.
During my recovery, I accelerated my efforts in producing art, and determined that in some way, I would pay back the folks who had saved.
In 2012, I created a commemorative poster with the intention of raising funds to contribute to the Cambridge EMTs. Folks who saw my work asked if any of it was for sale, which was all the encouragement I needed to commit myself to a new vocation.
From a lifetime of experiences, and a few years of incredible crises, DUG Art was born. (The name DUG derives from Michelle’s niece misspelling my name when she wrote a thank you note following her visit.)