About the Artist
The gourd shape jogs the archetypal, ancestral memory we all share – it is an organic, living reminder of our integral wholeness and the fruit we all bear in life. Gourds resonate the universal process of creation, symmetry, nature and balance, and evoke recognition of perfection. They communicate a primordial essence, an energetic character.
Gourds are most beautiful raw, in nature. To attempt to enhance them is difficult. You try to give them a “new life.” I don’t subscribe to “the gourd is my canvas” approach. Any added embellishment must bring out more of the gourd’s intrinsic nature, or it fails as art. The space between the designs is equally, if not more important than the design or pattern imposed on it. The beauty of a gourd is the way it reveals dynamic lines in space. I live with many raw gourds, which remain untouched – they are perfection in and of themselves. Gourd art stands on its own and need not be utilitarian.
I find joy in being inspired by other artists and yet maintaining individuality. I constantly ask myself, “Is it good enough to show – to display?” I don’t take my results for granted. My pieces either make it or they don’t. Nature is perfect in itself and needs no improvement; gourds are more beautiful than anything I could create. There’s my challenge as an artist – to bring forth the gourd’s inherent, natural beauty.
The “feel” of the finished piece is a reflection of life speaking itself. I look at and listen to the gourd. The more I resonate with its essence, the better the outcome. By not listening and just projecting, all I have is a piece of cleverness and not art from the soul.
With time, making gourd art hasn’t gotten any easier. I can’t whip out pieces – there are too many things to consider – if you make a mistake, it’s difficult to undo, but if you go with the mistake, go with this entirely new flow, pieces take on a life of their own. You always learn something new, even with the best thought-out plans. You can’t be too rigid with yourself or the piece you’re working on – you must be flexible. I am never completely satisfied with any artwork I create. There’s always a next level, like climbing a mountain. Each piece is a new and exciting struggle – a new jumping off place into the unknown realm of creation.
Art and life are one – each of us is called to create beauty in some form, in our own way. I’m not trying to make an artistic statement with gourd art; my goal is to take the natural beauty found in gourds and take it to another dynamic level, if that’s possible, through creativity and originality. My goal is to leave more beauty in the world.
It’s thrilling to share the recognition of the gourd’s unspeakable integral essence with another. I want people to be surprised – to be awed by the energy of nature; to be re-inspired and experience the wonder of creation, to be awed by the gourd’s history and its thousands of years of existence. It is my hope that when you engage these pieces, you will be reminded of your own sacred, transparent depth.