Solo Show at Shenandoah Valley Art Center, Waynesboro, VA

May 2022

Click on images to enlarge

The word “backyard” doesn’t usually evoke images of an exotic place. Backyard is often synonymous with mundane, ordinary, utilitarian, commonplace and consequently of little value.

In 2019, I began contemplating creating a body of work that was composed entirely of images found only in my backyard—bits and pieces of nature or, at times, man-made items that would normally be overlooked. I wanted to include the element of discovery and delight by using found objects, items that presented themselves to me when I was perhaps doing something else, but by taking time and being aware they were noticed.

In the Fall of 2019 I had begun capturing and collecting images for the project. Little did I know that in 2020 the project would take on an additional layer of meaning with the pandemic. Suddenly I truly was limited to my backyard. It was no longer a self-imposed restriction. My immersion in my backyard has been equal parts, gift, revelation, and saving grace.

I photographed each of these discoveries in the studio so that the items are isolated to create a portrait much the same way that a person is honored by having a formal portrait done. Those images are presented as mixed media encaustic pieces which offer a more layered interpretation of the object that compels the viewer to look more closely and carefully and to hopefully have the same sense of discovery and wonder that I did. In turn, perhaps, it will cause viewers to take more careful notice of what’s in their “backyard”.

A few words about the seemingly generic, but actually intentional, image titles: Throughout the entire time I was creating these pieces I was contemplating what to title them and actually some great titles came to mind. However, as the entire group of pieces came together, I realized that I did not want to impose my impressions or identifications on you, the viewer. I hope that you will see each discovery from my backyard with the absolute delight and awe that I first experienced when finding them, and discover your own words to express that.