Working with multiple panels has fascinated me since my graduate school days, when I fell in love with the work of Joan Mitchell. My fascination grew as I also came to love Japanese folding screens. I enjoy the challenge of creating individual panels that stand as compositions on their own and also relate to their adjacent panels in a variety of ways, creating a balance of flow and surprise.

In my new body of work, Abstract Narratives, I increased the number of panels from three or four (as I have often used in the past) to fourteen. Working across fourteen panels gives me the opportunity to make many shifts, for example: near to intermediate to distant spaces; subject matter to a lack of subject matter; light to dark; and black and white to color.

I make the panels by cutting up works on paper that I had previously made using monotype, marbling, watercolor, and acrylic gouache (see images below). Sometimes the cutting is random, sometimes I select a particular composition. Each panel is 4.5 x 2.75 inches, the smallest size I have ever worked in. I am often surprised and delighted by how much space can be implied within a very small area. I generally begin with a single panel that evokes a remembered or imagined landscape. Then I look for other panels which suggest ways in which that landscape might appear at different times of day or in different seasons; or if it was seen from different vantage points; or if one traveled to, through, or beyond it. I develop the fourteen panels with acrylic gouache to enhance the flow through the sequence, often switching panels in and out as my work continues. I always remain open to exploring unexpected developments as they occur. 

My idea of these sequences being narratives comes from the continuous evolution from the first panel through the fourteenth. I feel I am telling a story, but instead of there being characters who act, there are attributes of painting, drawing, and printmaking that interact and evolve.

Some of the completed sequences are framed, for immediate panoramic impact. Others are bound into handmade accordion-style books, for more intimate hand-held viewing.  In my "Videos gallery", you can see "Abstract Narrative Twenty" as one would see it while sitting down with the book in hand, paging through the images.