Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.
- Mary Oliver
I am drawn to abstract painting because it is the most challenging, holds the most mystery for me, and in the end, the most magic. My paintings are not "about" something, or "art objects" per se, as much as they are an opportunity to set in motion the imagination and trigger an emotional response. In the simplest terms, the paintings are a celebration of pure texture and color.
I believe that through focused intensive engagement while making a painting, it is possible to imbibe it somehow with a residue of spirit, an intangible essence that gives the work a sense of presence and freedom. This can be felt by a sensitive viewer and moves the work toward the realm of art, as opposed to decoration or craft. It's a prospect worth pursuing with each and every painting.
My process is one of applying paint liberally, carving and digging back into it, and building up layers. I often mix in elements of the physical landscape directly into the paint -- sand, stone dust, field grasses, river water, bits of flora -- infusing the work with the presence of the natural world. The whole time I am utterly engaged with the painting and letting my intuition be the primary driving force, although I am also using my training and experience to make hundreds and hundreds of decisions along the way as well. Freedom is the key.
Through this process of application and excavation I would say that I “find” the painting as much as “make” it. I know the work is done when I stand back and it hits me all at once as being resolved visually and having a strong sense of presence about it. In the end, I hope the work conveys something that is not so much experienced with the mind, as felt with the body.... in an intimate, visceral, and contemplative way that might elicit a moment of joy.