3 x (48 x 36 in), iridescent oil on canvas, 2007


Similar But Different embodies many of the shapes, colors, and brush strokes of the Florence Biennale collection, Buon Appetito! Maybe this is because it came into being simultaneously. But, that's where the similarities end. My personal mandate throughout its creation, was always abstract rather than representational.

In Similar But Different, the art therapist in me enjoyed intervening and discovering, as well as giving permission to play with the paint, exactitude not necessary. If and when a detail emerged that attracted my attention, I embellished it, allowing other aspects to evolve organically. I worked on each canvas from all directions and angles. And, it was only once pieces were complete that the final orientation for their hanging was determined (which can still be changed). Since I am considered to be a "colorist," I enjoyed making the most of this label. My only contrivance was that the first layer of paint on each canvas start with a different primary color (red, yellow, blue), as backdrop. In the foreground, anything was possible, allowing magic to happen.

These pieces can represent whatever the viewer chooses them to, and are better seen together (as a whole) than separately. They are as mysterious and exciting as they are soothing—perhaps because of their iridescent qualities (which may, or may not, be evident in photographs). Each piece has a story with characters in it, and details can be joined together or considered separately. There's also a lesson: it's about "similar but different." Each piece went through the same production phases, but distinct backgrounds combined with the artist's mood, from day to day, led to varying outcomes. Color and form can be personal preference-driven, making certain juxtapositions and compositions appear more appealing than others (depending on who viewers are and their vantage points).