Me while I was teaching art and a while back mixing gold paint in Virginia.
(Top photos include just one room full of paintings.)
There exists an element of “the unknown” during the painting process that is integral to my drive to paint. My work is often created by combining stained abstract layers with more representational forms, which involve brush strokes. I like to combine abstract stain with realism and/or pop inclusions. Natural, cyclical themes have been a constant in my art throughout the years. Some of my recurring themes include: Changing Environments/Atmospheres, Spirit Animals, Dreams, and recently States of Being.
I probe my canvas journeys through successive layers of paint and other media (like sand). In a cartographic manner, the concept transfers to physical form on the canvas. Maps are continually being reconstructed according to geologic time and recent history. A painting or drawing is constantly evolving or being “rerouted.” It is a mapping process. Often, the artists will start a drawing (whether it becomes a painting, an under-painting, or not (or whether it is drawn with a paint brush like a preliminary outline)) lightly and redraw, or “remap” the area according to development. There is also an internal and subconscious journey taking place. I do employ or tap into a certain amount of automatism.
If my paintings are representational, the “mapping” process happens with a brush and the outlines are painted. I don’t understand the need to use a pencil on the canvas. When I do draw on paper, I also embrace the bold method of preferring ink without a pencil drawing underneath. I enjoy working with the “accident.” The word, “mapping” seems appropriate for me since it does seem choppy or segmented. I paint when I can and my time is segmented. I usually have several paintings going at once until one or two of them obsess me. There is always one that I am more interested in unless it is small and part of a series. I go through a hate-love period with most paintings that are not planned beforehand. I initially will hate the first couple of layers. Days or hours later, I’ll think of something to do with these layers in order to transform them. Some of my favorite paintings like the triptych, Fields of Grass, I did not like at first. It was strange looking. Yet, I let the initial layers dry and worked with them.
I have a lot of thematic ideas. Needing to make these ideas come to life on canvas or even on paper is the drive. Taking the ideas seriously and finding the time and space to store them all is the challenge. I am not fond of painting photo shoots but it is part of this process. The mountain is there. It must be mapped. The paintings are there and they must be photographed.