I have always defined drawing as making marks on a surface, which leaves the door open for what is a mark and what is a drawing surface. In my case, I have chosen to work on old 'found paper' documents with many of these being more than 100 years old. I inherit a history of mark-making circumstance on these documents in regards to stains, tears, smudges, folds, color of paper, design elements, stamps, gesture, and a narrative, just to name a few. It is a vocabulary of preordained aesthetics that I must react to, develop a relationship with, choose to enhance, delete, adopt, or obliterate, while imposing new layers from my own time and interval of space. In a sense, the drawing becomes a metaphor for how we deal with our past, and our collective history and whether we choose to ignore, change, or embellish it, which can bring its more important components into the contemporary light of day.
When my personal history as a 21st century artist is added to a 150 year old piece of paper, it transforms the context of the page from a minor historical record into a contemporary and self-expressive work of art. This metamorphosis underscores the social purposes these documents served years ago in both time and place, which are no longer tangible; yet an element of their respective histories still remains. Each document becomes a foundation for the new work that pays homage to its history and, at the same time, breathes life into the paint that now embosses it with a new layer, adding to the original composition. That retrieval from history is intended to portray a remembrance of our lost and forgotten identities.
My own additions bear a reverence for these changes, which subsequently gives shape to the present, and simultaneously differentiates and joins 'then and now'.