Textiles are a focal point in my travels: I seek out ethnography museums, scour markets, study region-specific symbolism, make note of the most oft-repeated patterns. Visually, I love textiles for their tactile quality; conceptually, I love them for their perfect balance between beauty and function; intellectually, and perhaps most relevant to my paintings, I love them because, across nearly all cultures, ancient textiles acted as a way of writing, in that each pattern or symbol had a corresponding meaning. In this way, a textile becomes like a book, capable of telling a story, serving as a talisman with a specific meaning and purpose for your home.
After visually collecting and taking note of textiles in my travels-- notably in Turkey, Serbia, and Ukraine-- I started using them as a motif in my own work. I love how they create a frame-within-a-frame, how the edges create a second window (after the paper itself) into which the viewer can gaze. I found the tapestry conceit helpful in exploring new ways to enjoy oft-used Louisiana symbols : the repetition, the bilateral mirror effect, the symmetry, all pushed me to re-examine the objects, to think of them as geometric shapes and forms above anything else.
Here, the magnolia life cycle is shown from start to finish, starting with the edges of the tapestry: first, the flower; then the cone with seeds; finally the seedless cone after it falls from the tree.