I am drawn to things in small scale, repetitive images, whimsy, and things three-dimensional. I am able to combine these seemingly disparate qualities when I treat standard white dominos as small canvases. Using pen and brush I paint detailed images with pigmented ink on these plastic tiles and then attach from one to almost a thousand tiles to canvas or board. Pieces may have several layers of dominos, creating a distinct sculptural quality. Other pieces include some dominos with the dotted sides face up. Another technique I use is to transfer images onto gampi (very thin paper made entirely of silk), attach the gampi to tiles, and then hand-color each image.
Many of my pieces have faces with exaggerated features and unique expressions, including large, outrageous lips made of painted polymer clay. These pieces range from a single face to several hundred faces. My focus on facial expression reflects my background in psychology and fascination with the human ability to create and read the most subtle expression. My use of multiple images also has psychological roots. Viewed from afar the multiple painted tiles combine to create an almost chaotic effect, yet up close the uniqueness of each painted tile becomes evident. This reflects my appreciation of tension between wanting to be part of a group and wanting to stand out as an individual.
I also create pieces with New Orleans/Louisiana themes and icons including architecture, street signs, and landmarks; signature food, fish, and drink; musical instruments and elements; native plants and animals; and Mardi Gras elements.
Finally, I also do a fair number of custom pieces in which my clients specify the images they want painted on a tile and/or the combination and arrangement of tiles they want in a particular piece.
Regardless of the theme and the underlying psychology of a particular piece, my aim as an artist is to both engage and entertain the viewer with images that are genuinely unusual, vibrant, complex, whimsical, and joyful.