These paintings represent the current state of my studio practice. Some are new directions while others take their places in ongoing series. My paintings are spontaneous and intuitively generated.
My work is grounded in abstraction yet I try to create paintings that will oscillate between the possibility of subjective reading and a work's primary existence as an abstract presence. My work draws from a wide variety of sources. I often rely on the natural world for inspiration in terms of pattern, form, color and structure. As a former archaeologist I'm also drawn to certain primitive artifactual shapes and graphic forms.
My other concerns generally engage the processes of meaning through the suggestion of memory, history and visionary experience. I try to aim for open-ended abstract imagery that has a certain potential for narrative content. Something as basic as a horizon line can create vast metaphysical spaces, for instance.
The 20th Century anthropologist and philosopher Claude Levi-Strauss suggests that “art lies on a continuum halfway between science and magic”. It makes sense to me.
Through exploring the concepts of German romanticism and expressionism I create paintings that are fueled through emotions and feelings. Using abstract gestural marks, my paintings suggest the idea of lost or forgotten places, landscapes that were once inhabited, but that time has eroded away, leaving only sparse remains. Stone structures softened by the elements, to old forests that have succumbed to time and are the last sentries of an abandoned land. Underlying the imagery in my work is the traveler’s sense that familiar things are no longer understood by known experience. My work is an exploration into the emotional and physical responses of life’s journey, of occasionally being an outsider. It’s a search for understanding and an investigation of questions that may have no answers.
The paintings in this show are from my current work on individual people. Some are real people, some not. However, the actual identities of the people are not important. One's reaction to the painting of the person is what matters to me.
I've taken greater risks in the execution of this series to bring a new visual energy to the paintings. The painting styles are varied and somewhat expressionistic, yet, I try to give each person a realistic integrity, both anatomically and emotionally. That is to say, even though they are abstract, one can feel a "real" person in the painting. There is a sense of humanity that elicits an emotional connection.
All that said, my main goal is to walk in my studio in the morning and be excited by what I see.