As an observant wanderer, sense of place is both intensely felt and clearly seen. These landscapes are expressive of something deeper going on below the surface. The natural world, expressed sometimes as narrative and/or metaphor, always allegorical, never as shock value, is usually subtle and nuanced, portrayed in deep layers, transparencies, opacities, scratching into the paint surface, balancing representational (what is seen) and abstraction (what is felt) mixed into a sort-of mosaic composition.
The trees and the land have their own stories. Trees have such presence. They are sentient beings unto themselves, although their senses may not be quite like ours. I seek out each tree’s individual personality, or the character of a group of trees, that I am trying to portray.
On occasion, there will be human-built structures, the imposition of human beings onto the natural world, also set in layers through time, pulling into the present that which is ancient, putting into place that which is recent. My earliest paintings were of buildings; strange, eerie, personified buildings with blank windows for eyes. The factories and dark houses keep reccuring throughout all my bodies and various phases of artwork. Here they are again, in their latest incarnations.
Click the image above for the Landscapes Gallery.
Folding around once again... After nearly two years of painting only inside my head – while packing up, moving, and resettling cross-country – along with picking up where I had left off with the allegorical landscapes, I decided to challenge myself by painting a black and white chicken that I had photographed a few months earlier. And so, with 'Barred Chicken', a new set of paintings had begun.
Since I only work with photographs that I have personally taken, I have been limited as to which animals I have been able to portray so far. However, I believe that limits can often spark deeper creativity, and so I work with what I have.
Need I mention these animal paintings are metaphorical and allegorical narratives? That should be a given by this point. I am helpless to do otherwise.
The cat paintings of 2018 are an exception. There is no deeper meaning to them at the moment, they are not metaphorical, not just yet. They are simply cats. I have begun to add cats to my repertoire, partially because I am a cat person and have some fabulous models to photograph, but also to practice painting cats... Because I see the cat paintings eventually evolving into something else. My vision is always a little ahead of my actuality. But meanwhile, there are cats.
Click on the image above for the Animals Gallery.
Abstract painting, by definition, is painted with the broadest of brushes. And literally, it sometimes is. The online explanations list formal components of visual art such as line, color, form, and so on. I asked a group of friends, both artists and art appreciators alike, and they responded with words like "essence", "feeling", "primal", "emotion", and "expressive".
Artist statements I had written years earlier often ended or began with "Art is thought made visual". This too, is an abstract concept.
My work has almost always inhabited that strange space which exists in-between abstraction and representationalism. I have found that perception and intuition live there too.
In these paintings, I am using abstraction to portray something that is true for me in either the corporeal realm or other sensibilities. There is still realism in these portrayals of various elements of being, but maybe only in the most raw sense of the word.
Click on the image above for the Fragments Gallery.