Painting and drawing are, and have been as long as I can remember, a way for me to record and understand my thoughts and the visual world. I have gone from periods of figuration to abstraction and back to figuration. In going through these changes I have come to realize that the two worlds, which appear to be diametrically opposed can actually feed off of one another, and as a result have lead me to a kind of visual homeostasis.
In making paintings that are representational verses ones that are abstract in nature I am able to explore a wider variety and combinations of form and color than I would have been able to develop were it not for cues from the visual world. When painting in an abstract mode my focus becomes more inward as I search for shapes, colors, and symbols to represent the ideas that I wish to express. However, one of the consequences that I encounter while painting in a non-representational manner is that after a period of time I tend to repeat form and color combinations and the work can fall into a stylistic “straightjacket.” While representation for me is never about depiction or being descriptive, rather it is about exploring the moods and forms found in the visual world. An added challenge is the fact that the visual world is in a constant state of flux and a painting or drawing is never truly finished at least until the artist has achieved an emotional rightness within the painting. In order to achieve this "rightness" things must be altered and changed-for rarely is an idea conceived and put down on canvas without needing revision. Anything that is first, that is unaltered, is also unexamined and truly unexplored. The painting, whether abstract or figurative, is about color, form, light, and movement, among other things. I strive to push color, in particular, to a point where it almost becomes too strong or too quiet. However, this is not done arbitrarily, but rather because of the color relationships within the painting and the visual elements that balance one another until a kind of pictorial harmony is achieved. In a painting that does not directly reflect the visual world, a painting that is more abstract in nature, it becomes an activity of remembering things. In the act of remembering a kind of freedom is achieved so as to discover form and forget the specific reality that often dictates figuration. So, the problem is one that I have devised to challenge both myself and the viewer. To find the balance between the two, if a balance can be found at all, to attach a part myself to the subject and create paintings of emotion aided by an observed reality.
"Art is the inevitable consequence of growth and is the manifestation of the principles of its origin. The work of art is a result; is the output of a progress in development and stands as a record and marks the degree of development. It is not an end in itself, but the work indicates the course taken and the progress made. The work is not a finality. It promises more... "(Robert Henri, The Art Spirit).
In short, I wish to represent a specific type of reality; one that is both seen and imagined. Free to explore a subject rather than being bound by it. To interpret, explore, transform reality into something beyond that what is seen in an instant. To make a painting timeless and with abstract underpinnings that give strength to a composition and arrive at something straight and simple. …Read More
BFA East Carolina University 1994
MFA George Washington University 1998