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The “Lotus Lights” series grew out of a desire to incorporate other mediums into my collage work. In this case, how to use oil paint to enhance the typical collage elements of magazine or found materials, rather than distract from them. The theme itself of otherworldly illuminations emanating from lotus flowers came from a story I heard during a trip to India. According to this storyteller, the world was created by the Hindu god Brahma, born from a lotus flower who then used pieces of that flower to create the earth, the skies, and the heavens. This incredible image of creating an entire universe out a flower, combined with the overwhelming beauty of the aurora lights in which the magnetic forces of the earth have such an awe-inspiring effect on the skies and the heavens, inspired me in creating Lotus Lights.

Recently as I've become more confidant (and more interested) in painting, I've grown increasingly eager to play with the different possibilities inherent in oils and collage, as well as the many nuances which oil paint is composed of. Instead of simply making abstract designs inspired loosely by the Northern Lights background, I'll focus on how the texture of the paint can be manipulated, or how two opposing colors can complement/clash/blend with one another, or how a new stroke style can completely change the visceral feel of the image itself.

One of the more surprising and exciting results of this new openness to play has been how it has affected the rest of the collage.  For example, the play with texture and bringing these works more into the 3-D realm rather than the two-dimensional world, inspired me to explore how I could have a similar effect of the other elements of the collage. Thus, my later Lotus Lights pieces have all their lotus flowers created out of handmade paper rather than magazine images, which I was using prior. Although I still view this series as primarily an experimental one with a focus on self-learning and exploration, it has been incredible to see how the work changes as not just my "play" develops, but as my mindset towards these experiments gradually develops..

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