I take snapshots of moments in my head—of the woman who hobbles down the street with her granddaughter on her shoulder, of the middle-aged man who zips joyfully by on a scooter, of the homeless woman who passes the day munching M&M’s in the library. I take those little moments that are thrown away without a second glance, and store them away like so many precious treasures. I let these moments rest in my memory, gathering energy until they explode into reality, running from my mind to my pencil and paper. I draw quickly, the bold lines flowing in ink and graphite to record the fleeting mental picture. Sometimes I overlay the drawing with colors, filling in the stark information with the soft emotion of the moment.
I make and make and make these drawings, I fill the walls with them. And then suddenly, those many moments become a world of things observed. Any place—a row of houses in Baltimore city, a busy public library, the backwoods of West Virginia, a tiny town in Nicaragua, a sleepy morning commuter train—can become a new world of line and color. I record not only what I see, but what I feel about that place, about those moments, until they become a story. My stories record that which is not easily seen, what goes on between people and within them. My stories come together in many forms; in worded books that must be picked up and flipped through; in sewn-fabric tapestries whose familiar materials tell stories in themselves; in animations that bring the stories to life along with the sounds and music that they carry. Whatever the final format, my work is a collection of observations of the places we live in, and of the places that live in us.