My newest collection of paintings was inspired by an old boiled wool rug, faded but once rich and colorful layers of felt stitched together by hand, that I discovered in a Parisian flea market years ago. Crafted by the nomadic people of Kyrgyzstan in mountainous Central Asia, “shyrdak” rugs were used to decorate the floors and wall of a family yurt and provide protection from the elements. Traditionally made to immortalize important family and community events, shyrdak designs artfully incorporate images of sacred myths and culturally relevant symbolic motifs into interlocking patterns that create a dynamic visual play between negative and positive space. Contentment, prosperity, generosity, security and protection are represented by simplified and abstracted leaf-like shapes, curves, coils, and scrolls that captivate the eye with a lyrical dialog between background and foreground. Besides telling “stories”, a shyrdak’s even balance between colors in the field and in the detail represent the nomad’s ideal of man in balance with nature.