There is a really nice interview and review of my current work up at the Sprinkler Factory Gallery in the latest issue of Artscope Magazine: New England's Premier Culture Magazine. Thank you to editor Brian Goslow for such a great job. Here is a link to the article: Artscope Magazine
Below is a picture of me working away in the studio on a large canvas that they included in the article.
I'm developing a new series of paintings I'm calling Botanique. The paintings are inspired by the amazing and ever changing botanical world all around us. Abstract Impressionist in style, the paintings meld the form and vitality of Abstract Expressionism with the broken color brushwork of the Impressionists.
I hope to convey some of the dazzling color, vibrancy and nuance found in the magical world of plants, flowers and trees. I've brightened the palette quite a bit in this series, and am letting the colors run free.
All titles are randomly selected from botanical nomenclature. Pictured here, Fasicle, 48" x 48" acrylic on canvas.
Working up the surface on several paintings I'll have in the show "WHITE" at Diana Felber Gallery in September.
One of the things I like so much about painting is that it is a journey I can go on, but never arrive. The exploration is entirely what it is about for me. In a sense, the finished paintings are markers along the way. Each one describes a particular moment in time, a record of an idea, or technique or challenge I was investigating at that point in the journey. Taken as a whole in retrospect, the paintings are a road map of where I've been.
Lately I've been searching for ways to get further "into" the paintings, beyond the surface markings and dynamics. Not that I am looking to portray a literal space, but rather a sense of volume and light to move around in. Berceuse, 24" x 30", is an example of this idea, the current moment in the ongoing journey.
I've come to believe that literally the paint itself is of central importance in my work. I've been experimenting for years with different viscosities, textures, sheen, and overall look of the paint, both oils and acrylics, to come up with a quality which resonates the kind of feeling I hope to achieve in the finished work. In the end, nothing communicates like the quality and characteristic of the paint itself.
In my latest work I've been mixing a variety of paints, and applying with a number of different tools and techniques to achieve the look I'm after. These new paintings are built up over many layers, often beginning with charcoal and graphite, then washes of thin transparent paint, additional layers of archival mediums mixed with dry pigments, and finally thick impasto applications of pure color. I'm liking the results very much. The contrast of the materials and techniques built up through the layers brings a level of excitement and liveliness to the work. I very much look forward to continuing the exploration.
Tanto, 48" x 48", mixed media on canvas
This painting, (Senza, 30" x 40"), is the first in a new series I'm creating called Sensorium. Broadly defined, Sensorium is the totality of those parts of the brain that receive, process and interpret sensory stimuli. The sensorium is the supposed seat of sensation, the place to which impressions from the external world are conveyed and perceived.
With this new series, I'm interested in exploring how we perceive and sense experience. Is it possible that aspects of a painting might stimulate more of our senses than just the visual one? It is common and easy for us to visualize soaring images in our mind's eye when listening to a moving symphony for instance. Is it also possible we might be able to develop our sensitivities in ways that make it just as easy for us to hear music in our mind's ear when "looking" at a work of art?
In all my paintings I reach for an elusive quality which transcends a work’s physical properties and can only be perceived intuitively. It's that unseen intangible essence which gives a painting "presence", making it something more than decoration or craft. It's the mysterious act of perceiving a work of art with the "sixth sense" if you will.
While this will continue to be a central focus in my work, in this series I will be exploring a more literal engagement with the senses to see if something might be created which holds out the possibility of resonating beyond the visual.... to the sensorium.
In my former life making documentary films, I was very very fortunate to be able to spend time with and film various cultures in more than forty countries around the world. I remember often being mesmerized by the intricacy and beauty of the textiles and tapestries of various indigenous peoples I encountered.
Pictured here is an amazing eight foot by seven foot tapestry I bought years ago in the village outdoor market in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala. It was made by an enterprising vendor who had collected huipils, (the traditional garment worn by indigenous women, each with its own unique regional pattern and design), and sewn them together into this large hanging.
I just rediscovered it today, having stored it away and forgotten about it long ago. Now, it is up on the ceiling on the office end of my studio. What is striking to me is how many of these colors and even patterns have been emerging in my latest series of paintings, "della terra". My process is largely subconscious and intuitive (with LOTS of editing along the way), but how could my love of these indigenous textiles through the years, not bubble up somehow in paintings I'm working on today?
Pictured here: della terra XIX, oil on panel, 24" x 54"
In this new series I'm developing, Calando, I've started to introduce more contrast into the paintings. They feel more dynamic with the addition of some darker tones, and I think it adds a bit of a sense of mystery to the composition. Above: Calando III, oil on panel, 24" x 24".
My new work has morphed a bit into another series of new paintings, which I'm going to call Calando. The work is similar to my earlier series Adagio, and even the newer series, della terra, but also different. Like Adagio, Calando is a musical term, instructing the performers to lower the volume and also the the pace. In other words, to slow down, to quiet. These paintings suggest this to me, a calming. very soft effect, and thus the title. Below is Calando I, oil on panel, 24" x 24".
Its been an incredibly busy time in the studio these past weeks. Springtime is bursting. I'm definitely affected by the light. I work in natural daylight, and there is no question the quality of the light works its way into the paintings. The cool icy blues of my recent paintings are giving way to much warmer brighter colors as springtime unfolds.
I'm developing two new series of paintings, which I'm calling "della terra" and "Calando". There are starting to be enough finished paintings from each series that it will soon be time to update the website with the new work and start getting it out into the world.
Pictured here is my studio at the end of clean up after a long day of work. The wall is filling up with works in progress which are at various stages of completion and evaluation.
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