Available for sale or shows
I was born 1966 in Rolling Hills, PA just outside of Philadelphia. Star Trek, Doctor Who, The Beetles, and Janis Joplin were strong influences for me ~ the strange and the forever questioning. Also, I was just a bit weird. At least I felt that way. It was not my imagination that I was very different from most children my age.
I started keeping journals at age eight, but when my mother found my drawing books she trashed them and on two occasions actually burned them. My journals were about my daily life and it was how I learned to put words to my feelings. It was also filled with a lot of drawings, particularly of the tiny creatures that lived in my suburban neighborhood. I learned to hide my few personal belongings.
I invented my own language when I was twelve to hide my private thoughts from my mother. If she found my sketchbooks, she was just less angry if she couldn’t read it. I kept multiple journals, one for each “critter” (alter) that wanted to journal. Some journals had infrequent entries, and others had pages and pages of drawings and writing that I was somehow driven to put to paper.
I found painting and journaling to be very healing. Since I often did not have the words, or even a vocabulary for the feelings I was having ~ I created symbols for them ~ often in the form of animals. Later in therapy I learned the vocabulary to put names to these feelings. Often my journals have been inspiration for a painting later. When I do a larger work, I most often work in acrylic on canvas or sometimes watercolor on paper.
I got an Associate’s Degree in Fine Arts at Buck’s County Community College. In college, I decided to again keep a journal in plain english (or as much as I could stand) ~ it became Rebtak Diaries: Rebtak’s journal. I did not pursue a further degree but attended Philadelphia College of Arts and Philadelphia College of Textiles. Painting is my passion but found it easier to make a living in the technology field. So I worked as a graphic designer and web developer for more than 25 years.
Because my journalings ~ which always included artwork ~ were often kept “in code”, my paintings tend toward the symbolic and allegorical. I am strongly influenced by the artists Alphonse Mucha, Maxfield Parish, as well as many botanical illustrators and wildlife illustrators ~ as I have always been drawn to nature. Certainly my fondness for Science Fiction has influenced my art as well.
Currently there have been a lot of changes in my life which is certainly changing my art. I do not even know how it will change or where it will end up. I feel I can only see so far ahead in my artistic evolution and I try to hit that image I see ~ it teaches me. It is mostly instinct and I often feel that I did not get it quite right and that my paintings are never quiet finished. But I keep trying.