Pears came into my life and seemed to flourish for years before I truly discovered their significance and connection to my life. As long as I can remember, I have enjoyed making things; whether they were passing creations - drawngs in the sand, piles of sticks and stones configured just so, or more permanent creations like the installation I did in my parent’s bathroom (at the ripe age of three) sucessfully covering every inch of the textured wallpaper with varing shades of red lipstick.

In the early 90’s I was drawn to create on a more regular basis and began making works/paintings using discarded wood, plywood, moulding, cabinet doors, etc. — as my “ canvas”. While I had this strong sense of urgency to pick up these salvaged materials and bring new life to them, I was at a loss for what kind of images to create. It was a very push and pull experience. I would start with just paints — working abstracts with colors, hoping something or someone would emerge from my endeavors. Slowly I became more comfortable and patient with the process.

Colorful landscapes and figures resembling animals began to appear. And then one fateful night I created — seemingly from nowhere — a painting with three pears. It seemed somewhat odd reflecting on it later, since I had no known connection to this plump little fruit.

The pears then started appearing in my work on a very regular basis, still without much thought, but it seemed very natural and comforting to paint them. They would turn up in still lifes, or rows, next to each other and in little “rooms” and later even hovering over landscapes with their very own wings — “pear angels.”
Naturally people began asking “What’s with the pears?” For years I had no enlightened response. My answers consisted of... “I don’t know, I just like painting them, I can’t stop, it gives me energy and peace to paint them, they have such personality — each one a little different — they’re amusing, entertaining, cute, sexy.”

Then, finally a few events fell into place and the “pear truth” was discovered. One inquiring friend had made the observation that a pear actually resembles the human heart much more than the traditional Valentine version, which would be significant to me, since I had grown up with heart problems. I initially brushed this explanation off to sentimentality, until later, when met face to face with a similar connection, I realized its significance.

Several years later I met a woman who had endured severe heart complications and was out living her doctor’s prognosis. We had a conversation that convinced me of the heart/pear connection. She asked me what I do. My usual response to this question is that I am an artist, a painter, I paint landscapes, still lifes, etc... But to this woman, for some reason I just blurted out — “I paint pears.”

She looked at me rather astonished and puzzled and said, “That’s so strange, because yesterday my best friend was coming to visit me and something overcame her and told her to stop at the store and bring me three pears.” They both thought it was so “out of the blue” and made no sense to either one of them. As she told me this, it struck me even harder because the first pear painting I did was of three pears, and in talking with her about her heart condition, it made me think about my heart condition. I have endured three open heart surgeries, starting at the age of six. The pears were my hearts — my three hearts, my three chances at life. It made sense that I repeated this image, it was my symbol for life.
If I didn’t paint pears for a couple of weeks I would get tired, irritated, off balance. It enlivens me to paint pears, to put them out there, to share them, each pear reaffirming my life and the thanks I give for each chance at life.