My interest in making books as art grew out of many years of painting. I started painting in Mozambique where I grew up, and continued in other places I lived - South Africa, France, Portugal, United States, Brazil, Czechoslovakia, Italy and Spain, a background that gave me multiple perspectives on approaches to art, culture and life. Figurative painting tells a story, so there was a connection with books from the beginning. Over time, I began making catalogs for my shows almost like another painting.
The breakthrough was probably As Festas Secretas/The Secret Parties, done for my retrospective show in 2000. It took a year of emails, and resulted in the Dream paintings. The text is the edited version of what I emailed. The interaction between writing the book and painting had me hooked.
In addition to paintings and catalogs, I began writing and illustrating bilingual children’s books in English and Portuguese. The opportunity to be a Fellow at the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, spending six weeks in a XV Century castle in Piero della Francesca’s glorious Umbria, led to further experimentation in watercolors and abstraction.
A commission in 2011 by Colomer & Sons in Spain to paint one of a kind watches took me into other realms. Intensive research resulted in The Beat of Time, 20 paintings on watch faces depicting time from cosmological viewpoints and in terms of expanding human knowledge, symbolized by man’s discoveries of the world and space around us.
These strands of interest resolved into artist books, working from the support of a book to convey images and thoughts, exploring the aesthetic possibilities of paper, painting, illustrating and writing to construct an object one could manipulate. Artist books have become an enduring passion. I find every aspect of an artist book - materials, concept and content, imagery, fabrication and presentation – essential to the creative process.