Animal, Vegetable, Mineral: Portraits of Things
September 2000
Commonwealth Club of California, San Francisco

How do you define a "portrait"? As a depiction of a person's face or personality? We spend our lives surrounded by objects - often taking little notice of their specific defining qualities. In this exhibition, I enlarged the traditional definition of portrait to include intimate appraisals of a wide variety of objects. From large to small, from rare to commonplace, I tried to capture the personality of animals, minerals, and vegetables using the medium and technique best suited to the subject.

All of these works were drawn from life or from my sketches that are directly observed - not from photos. Drawing an object first-hand allows me to explore its structure and idiosyncrasies more carefully. It also allows me to record my enjoyment of the object more fully. I hope that enjoyment is abundantly clear in these portraits of "things".

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