MY EARLIEST ATTRACTION TO BLACK & WHITE ART came as a child from the high contrast outlines found in our favorite coloring books. It was fixating, the bold black lines against white paper. It wasn’t long after that I began drawing pictures of my own, using my toys to draw.

I spent long hours in libraries drawing and seeking inspirational imagery, gravitating first to Todd McFarlane’s amazingly detailed and expressive drawings for comic books. From there, my curiosity expanded to Albrecht Duer, Alphonse Mucha, Albert Bierstadt, and the master drawings of the Renaissance. More so than a finished work of art, nothing captured my imagination like the underdrawings and studies behind every artist’s process—the gesture drawings or souls of art.

The need to capture every detail first led me to the control and precision of a mechanical pen and ink. However, as I moved from photo-like realism to a more emotional interpretation, I often start with the brush and ink. One may see my black and white artwork in two layers, the expressive strokes and the objects they form. I combine impasto-like emotion from the impressionists with the masters of graphic design to give power to every stroke and line.

My art dances in choreography between my brain’s left and right hemispheres as it interprets my emotion and sight. Blending my thoughts and layering them in search of connections. With the help of my 98-year-old Japanese sumie master, sensei Koho, I am learning and moving toward a new blend.