Tell us about your process, including how you achieve the mottled and textured effects present in many of your paintings.
I don’t start with a particular “destination” in mind. I might start with abstract, random line work, addressing the blank canvas with washes of color and shape. Objects and forms come to me like a Rorschach Test. Other times a scene from my daily life might strike an interest, such as a corner of my room or the pickets along my neighbor’s fence. This detail gives way to an editing process, then new ideas emerge and the work takes on another life. The work evolves that way, generally speaking, and those textures you mention tend to come from that overlaying of imagery. I sand a great deal too. That technique brings a bit of those older ideas back up and adds to the patina.
From where do you draw inspiration?
The working process is my inspiration. I think my life's experiences are all embedded in my work somehow.
Your paintings seem to incorporate lots of corners and edges. Could you talk a bit about the appeal there?
For the most part in traditional architectural spaces everything is constructed from the rectangle. The rectangle is corners and edges. Much of my work is scenes within the types of spaces. I obsess over straight lines. I have four straight edges of varying lengths for the purpose of establishing the perfect unwavering straight line. They are as invaluable as any tool.
And where there are edges and corners, there will be shadows. The shadow is a wonderful device for breaking up space, defining shape, and lending an air of mystery.
Many of the works also include unusual or multiple perspectives. Is your intention to unsettle the viewer or convey movement through space during everyday observation – or something else entirely?
Maybe I do push the perspective a bit just to keep the process interesting to me. I establish horizon lines with vanishing points in nearly all of my paintings.
I don't think about the “why” of my work during the process. I think about the actual thing – the painting -- itself all the time. Are the parts working? Do those parts add up to that something I'm looking for? I don't even quite know what that “thing” is, but I know it when I see it. Perspective is just one of those parts.
What would you like viewers to learn from your work?
I would hope a fellow painter might get an idea or two. I'd also like to think that a casual observer might stop to wonder a moment about some aspect of what they see. That's part of the learning process.
How long have you be working as an artist?
How has your practice evolved?
I am more confident that the paintings will work out. Whereas earlier I shunned the use of photographs, I now use them when needed and with caution. I don't mix color with my brushes. I use only a palette knife, and I spend as much time mixing paint as I do applying it. I have found that while teaching a class does eat up a lot of studio time (I’ve been an adjunct in recent years) there is much to be learned from teaching something you take for granted.