MY EARLIEST ATTRACTION TO BLACK & WHITE ART CAME FROM COLORING BOOKS. Fixating on the contrasting bold blackness, outlines, and shapes against white paper, obsessively coloring between the lines. And soon drawing pictures of my own, a life-long obsession.

I began spending hours drawing in libraries and seeking inspirational imagery and gravitating first to Todd McFarlane detailed drawings in comic books. With my knowledge expanding to Albrecht Duer, Alphonse Mucha, and Albert Bierstadt to master drawings of the Renaissance. I found myself more interested in the underdrawings and studies in every artist’s process than their finished works. My imagination continues to explode from the richness and expressive depth of line work in every sketch I study. Capturing every detail led me to draw in pen and ink—my tool of choice with an occasional exception of a painters’ brush.

Learning and experience gave way to new thinking. I began splitting my black & white artwork in two. The use of expressive lines from Jackson Pollock and masters of graphic design opened me to a line’s power. I was extending my vision beyond the realistic representation of objects into symbolism. Where an idea, like “chaos,” portrays itself without recognizable objects.

My artistic curiosity. A dance to harmonize two opposing forces, recognizable detail (the science of art) with abstract ideas (the emotional response to art). I am pushing the choreography between brushstrokes of impressionism and the objects of cubism and surrealism. My thoughts are blending and layering and searching for connections like an ever-expanding network of ideas. As perfectly portrayed in the shed scene of Russel Crow’s, A Beautiful Mind. With the help of my 98-year-old Japanese sumie master, sensei Koho, I am learning and moving toward a new blending. One of nature and emotion. Black ink on handcrafted paper with a brush is where I begin, again.