I paint vibrantly colored and richly detailed calligraphic abstractions. My images seem to me contemporary but tied to antiquity. They suggest dreams and totems, and sometimes address issues that move me strongly. I always avoid explicit storytelling, but am increasingly drawn to employ allegorical abstraction, using titles as a clue to help the viewer divine my intent. In all my work, a recurrent theme is the tension between creation and destruction, order and chaos.
I am influenced by traditional and contemporary art of the Islamic world, modern American painters like Philip Taaffe, Thomas Nozkowski, and Charline von Heyl, and plants. I am especially attracted to contemporary art that builds on the long heritage of Arabic and Islamic calligraphy, like the work of Shirin Neshat and Shahzia Sikander. These women have transcended cultural borders to make art that grows out of their own traditions and addresses current issues for a global audience. From my Western perspective, I try to inventively incorporate elements of the Mideastern art I love in my own work.
As for technique, I create tension between control and intentional lack of control in my brushwork, often by applying a loose and intuitively painted under-layer that is refined and elaborated - and sometimes almost obliterated - by more controlled overlying layers. I use unorthodox color combinations to awaken the eye, and mix mediums into the acrylic paint to create texture and highlight the physicality of the work.