The technique used for my paintings is a combination of watercolor, sumi ink, gouache, and frisket. Usually I begin with watercolor, freely painted. I then create a second dimension of pattern by masking the surface with frisket. Additional structure emerges through the application of sumi ink. Finally, I use gouache to augment and adorn, until I have achieved the desired effect.

My paintings begin with a visual idea or feeling. I find that the first versions of a particular idea generate their own variations organically, so one piece builds upon another. Thus, early paintings in a particular series become important sources for the paintings that follow.

I regard my paintings as a physical expression of the underlying interconnectedness of all things. Sometimes I feel as if I am making visible the hidden structures that lie just beyond ordinary perception. As a visual artist, I am conscious of a paradox: if there is a beauty that transcends the senses, our only access to it is through the senses.

As I build my images, I am aware of my indebtedness to a wide range of cultural traditions. In Japan I was exposed to time-honored, sophisticated uses of the decorative arts. African masks, textiles, and baskets have sensitized me to the interaction of pattern, surface, and texture. I am emboldened by the luminosity of color in Thai silks and Indian embroidery.

I have also been visually and technically inspired by Aboriginal "dream paintings," which demonstrate the abiding significance of content even in decorative abstraction. These and other multicultural influences, which I embrace as part of our common planetary heritage, continue to nourish my work in conscious and unconscious ways.

Trudy Kraft

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