ARTIST STATEMENT

 

My first solo show in Los Angeles was in 1987, and by 1989 the Landscape had emerged as my life’s work. These landscapes were initially informed by the Symbolist school; works by Redon, Ryder, Blake and Whistler as well as 13th century Alchemist prints guided me. Their imagery, along with the writings of Rudolf Steiner and Madame Blavatsky, formed the narrative within these paintings - an effort to create a dialogue between the sacred and the corporeal. These works were suggestive and minimal, and were used as a counter point to the imagery of the Alchemist sacred geometries that hovered above them.

There are significant moments in every artist's career that propels them. One of those moments happened early on in my career when I was invited by Aurabora Press to do a residency in San Francisco. Working with their master printer, I made images that, technically speaking, shouldn't have been done. However, by allowing the uncontrolled markings, smudges and "what if’s" of the process to remain unresolved, meaningful works were created. This method allowed all the conscious and unconscious voices and paths to remain - presenting the process itself as an essential part of creating an intimate, authentic narrative.  These marks and smudges quickly entered into my paintings, creating a new dialogue with the representational elements.

In 2015 I was rethinking the traditional compositional devices used in landscape painting and no longer saw the need for horizons or to explain a foreground. Increasingly I began to see landscapes not as a collection of bound static elements, but rather as forms that float between representation and abstraction.

2017 saw more changes, while working on a series of drawings that focused on the structures within landscapes, I saw a new approach that allowed me to pare down the visual narrative to its primary forms, structures and motions. The ensuing paintings were visually minimal and expressive, but they required a new technical approach. From my usual oil on canvas I switched to painting on panel, building up layers of acrylic paint followed by a charcoal drawing which is then etched into the surface.  A process of “wet sanding” follows, with more layers of paint and more sanding until the image is complete.

As I go into 2018 with this new body of work I am energized by the potential paths this process  has shown me. One of the greatest enjoyments about painting has always been the initial charcoal drawing - those first marks are direct and honest, and I aim to examine what those lines can become sculpturally with a series of 3D maquettes. I also am planning a series of monoprints to explore the graphic possibilities. Another area of interest is to explore how color and line can interact and be used to express emotion and character in their most basic forms.

March 2018