I am an abstract painter whose paintings feel like landscapes and bring the outdoors inside. The paintings are like windows that peer deeply into space beyond the four edges. My paintings come from the things around me that I see, such as ancient mountains, (the Holyoke range formed by glaciers), cast shadows of clouds on these mountains, the open hayfields where I live, and memories of shapes and colors that rise up unexpectedly from memorized places where I have traveled. It is how colors relate that always guides me. My color combinations come directly from landscape, or from architecture when I am amongst structures as inspiring as the Alhambra, with itâ€™s bodies of water strategically flowing that are companions to them. My painting is â€˜edited memoryâ€™ of some one event based on a visual experience, combined with life experiences over time.
The physicality of oil paint lends itself to well to my applying paint both thinly and thickly, scraping and reapplying paint. The surfaces of my paintings resemble ancient walls, in that there is a sense of history alive in them, through the repetition of the "placement and replacement" of paint many times over. (I try to convince my students that they canâ€™t expect to get it right the first hundred times, that it is necessary to go through the search process). I feel like I am at a construction site breathing life onto the canvas through a simultaneous building up and a tearing down of color. I love to see open, breathing, moving space create entry way inside the picture plane of the flat surface of linen. It is the act of breathing life onto the canvas that enables the paintingâ€™s surface to be like windows or mirrors into which to look. It is the architectural construction of a painting that moves me. A painting gets born when it has a specific presence that comes alive in it, that seems, for me, to come together only at the very end through the last accoutrements that come along so naturally and pleasurably, and fine-tune all that is already compositionally holding together, rhythmically tied.
My paintings are not objectified; they donâ€™t hold objects, but they do hold spirit, souls, and memory, all of which rise up in a form conducive to be said in paint. The paint finds it before even I do, that makes how colors relate be everything. My paintings 'sing' through the light that emanates from the color combinations themselves.
I explore ideas just as an improvisational musician finds his "lines." The dialog between ideas lives in me like a fascinating story I'm telling. The painting has to have a life of it's own unlike any previous paintingâ€™s life. I want to see what happens through the "chance encounters" I have with paint, â€˜in the moment.â€™ Free like this, invention surges up and I paint out of curiosity: a problem area in the painting becomes a foreign country in which to travel. I continue to strengthen the major concept as it is forming it's way to becoming "whole." I can never quite get there, but I get closer as I develop my skill, over time. I enjoy the struggle and the search, reaching for the inaccessible, referential to landscape that is not overtly stated, but implied. A familiar shape worked out in the last painting gets obliterated in the new one, for it cannot have a name that has already been spoken. My painting process is always unsettling, completely passionate, radical, and driven, but it is the paint itself that guides me to a place of wonder. The painting has to be better than the idea, which was the paintingâ€™s original intent.
Each of my paintings represents a crystallized chunk of formal experience, as well as being very personal at the same time. My paintings are earthy, rock-like and weighty, and yet they have in them the rhythm of the sea. I am a nature painter; the nature "out there" coupled with my own internal landscape. My "inner" finds the equivalent "out there."
I have a need to communicate personal experience, to send waves of emotion that look like the painting got painted with little conscious effort, having a quality of a time distortion effect, even though the painting took months of concentration to pull together into what whole impact it finally becomes. The journey is never over; I always see more to do, but then, knowing when it is time to move on to a new painting is an art form unto itself.