I paint to achieve through my art an uncommon peace, a completeness. I am inspired to try to communicate my experienced reality through visual expression. I reach this through using form, light, material and outline.
My current work, the “Blocks” series, is a combination of art and architecture, hovering between painting and sculpture. It employs shizen (自然): the Japanese and Chinese concept of naturalness, absence of pretense or artificiality. Material is stretched over a three-dimensional framework and brushed with paint. The work is characterized by “mindful artlessness,” that is, it has to be artless enough to intentionally include some imperfection evident in the finished artwork. The work doesn’t only refer to itself, and it doesn’t explain everything.
Part of my intent is to elevate gesso from its typical side-role in painting into a central role. Often forgotten, ignored or considered as merely a background medium, I place gesso front-stage so its importance can be reckoned with in its own right, not in the least subordinate in prominence to any of the more customary painting mediums like oil and acrylic. To me, gesso is fundamental and foundational. Gesso is versatile and archival. Gesso bonds well to most materials and does not damage them. Gesso can soak into the support or float on top. I often use dozens of nearly imperceptible thin layers of gesso. From a distance my treatment of gesso often appears to give a waxy patina to the work. I’m also as interested in the effect the underlying supports existing in the paintings have on the visual experience. I like visually acknowledging support(s) present behind the surface. I am fond of having both the sometimes painterly brushwork with the gesso exist in balance with the reality of the background materials and forms in the work.
I make my own forms to create depth. The forms are mediums themselves in the work. The presence of the forms create the mostly geometric, rectangular outlines. I am fond of the forms' depth since it obviously bends space and light and reaches out toward the viewer. The surface of the work not only reflects light, it also casts shadow within the boundary of the work as well, and often moves light and shadow out beyond into the space around it.
I plan to continue my years of work on the “Blocks” series. There is still much to explore with this work, like perforating the surface, modifying the forms and materials, and discovering mysterious boundaries yet untried.