Being a mixed bag of ethnicities, mental journeys to exotic destinations come naturally to my creative process. I draw inspiration from a complex genetic pool to infuse diverse flavor and color in my works. Some of these influences also come from my passion for belly dance. For me, exotica isn't a faraway land or influence, it's a continual state of mind.
A pipa is a Chinese lute used prominently in Chinese opera orchestras. According to a document from the Eastern Han dynasty, the instrument’s name is derived from finger techniques, pi for plucking in a forward motion, pa for plucking in a backward motion producing a sound both exotic and divine. I wanted a classic, 'old world' look for this pipa player, so used a monochromatic palette.
"origarmy: west above the storm"
This piece was created for a themed art exhibition for a Northern California gallery. Rendered in a darker palette, the goal was to give the piece a somber and stormy feel, with a positive note of the Origarmy flying, due west, above the turmoil.
Origarmy was featured in the Sway Forth art exhibition hosted by Mom and Pop Art Gallery, Pt. Richmond CA / May 2021
The challenge of digital art is that it can be very flat in presentation, needing a good mix of layer effects, textures and points of interest within the composition. I believe Backside Beauty with her hair ornaments, multiple patterns and drifting cherry blossoms has accomplished that mission. Even if all you see is her backside, she's still a beauty.
~with the first stroke of my digital pen, a new adventure begins~
Sixty-six layers make up Bedouin's romantic desert scenery and nomadic iconography. While political and economic changes have vastly affected the Bedouin tribe's way of life and are now but a remnant, I've always been fascinated by things of an archaic, nomadic and sometimes piratical nature which I hope have done it all justice in this portrayal.
Bedouin was invited into the Migration online group exhibition / Jan 30 through March 30, 2022.
It took three days to birth Nathania which in Hebrew means God's Gift. Considering it takes me anywhere from 2-8 hours to create a piece, this was one of my lengthier labors which involved trying on the different effects and textures that surround this lovely dancer. Layering and texturing is where I shine, it being my most enjoyable process of creation.
"bay of light"
This multi-layered digital gem is meant to convey a sense of peace and serenity with its texture, color and light play. When the mood strikes, I like to balance my gritty, earthy images with pieces that are more tranquil while still staying true to the minor keys of a composition. Many who have seen this piece expressed they would like to be there, traversing this bay. So would I.
Masks was created for my own promotional purposes before I realized it would make an interesting canvas on its own. This piece consists of other pieces and textures of other works. That's the absolute beauty of digital... transferring elements and effects at will. Masks truly highlights my love of exoticism, textures and exotic textures. And gas masks.
Meditate is another creation meant to invoke a sense of peace and calm in the midst of life's offsets and storms. It took numerous texture layers to get the vintage look desired for Meditate. Aged, seasoned and slightly damaged effects are an integral part of my digital style; giving the impression of something timeless, well-worn and well-loved.
Lotus Eater started with a Balinese mask as a model. This was one of my earlier pieces created while still trying to master the digital implements with Creative Suite apps as mediums. Adding hairline cracks and distressed textures, so much a part of my digital signature, Lotus Eater was the first piece that sold at my very first fine art show in Laguna Beach, California.
"flawed and serene"
This creation sums up a fundamental truth: we're all flawed individuals, but serenity comes from the knowledge that perfection is attained through the divine. Flawed and Serene uses multiple layers of the exotic textures I love, in this case distressed bamboo and weathered stone, along with a color palette that's mean to convey the patina of the ancient.
"shanti, grown up"
If one does not know who Shanti is, she's the girl child in Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book, who enticed Mowgli to leave his adopted animal family for the human community he was wary of. Although this image is modeled more after a tribal dancer than Shanti, she's an arresting mixture of modern edge and the erosion of the ancient.
Inspired by a Himalayan music channel, Trapa basically means 'student'. I love the beautiful faces of these Tibetan monks in patient posture offset by a passionate red palette, a much used choice of palette for its bold nature and shock to the eye. Featured as well are the many texture layers, along with erosion effects for conveyance of age, my special signature.
Having always had a fascination for large pond goldfish, also known as Koi, and old school tattoo art, this is my interpretation of combining the two. Much Koi uses several texture layers, very evident in the artwork, and a bold, rich palette that is no less exotic than the rest of the pieces in this gallery.