Jackson Heights, where I grew up and had my first apartment has greatly influenced my artwork where even scenic images can have a gritty, urban quality that I think of as 'beauty with an edge'. My "True Grit" series of one-of-a-kind monotypes began as a way to quickly create images tapping into my stream of consciousness. Often I have no clear subject in mind but manipulating the ink leads me in a direction whether figurative, landscape or still life. My process is to apply ink onto a zinc plate using both additive and subtractive methods with cardboard, brushes, rags, paper towels, palette knives and fingers. The ink is transferred onto printmaking paper by hand-pulling through a printmaking press. I often discover “happy accidents” when ink takes on a life of its own creating unexpected results. When color is applied I use combinations of watercolor, oil and chalk pastel, ink and acrylic medium. Most recently I have been experimenting with how water-based mediums disperse into bubbles and splotches when applied onto oil-based mediums creating a dynamic texture that reminds me of fireworks. "True Grit" ultimately refers to the grittiness of the etching ink that is the foundation of all my works on paper but also to my determination and strength of will to pursue my art business.