Jonathan in IrelandThe guiding principle I have followed as an artist is that beauty is a worthy end in itself.  Some in the art world perceive beauty as something shallow and without depth.  I believe in the opposite, that attaining beauty can be a transcendent spiritual experience and has depth and meaning.  My work for many years has consisted of cut paper collages.  These collages evolved from both screen printing and my experience as an art teacher in the public schools of Philadelphia and Collingswood.  I initially used paper cut collage as a way of teaching the stencil making technique.  The precision and detail appealed to me and I continued this art making process after I gave up my screen printing studio when we moved to New Jersey in 2001. In 2011 I discovered Wycinanki, the Polish folk art of paper cutting.  The subject matter of birds and flowers, and the wild colors contrasting with a black unifying background paper appealed to me and I gave it a try.  I quickly found the symmetry a little limiting but still loved the stylized nature of the art form and felt that the limiting parameters created a strength and visual power.  The best analogy I can use is that of a power washer nozzle.  When all that water is forced through a small opening, it comes out with a great force.  I feel this way about the paper cut technique and the simplicity of the imagery.