As an introduction to what others may find troubling or confusing about my pictures i.e. their abstract quality for lack of a better word. What often others are looking for is an object that is recognizable and therefore has a name. I remembered as an art student when I first “let go” of the contour of an object it was like jumping off of a cliff. But it was the beginning of everything else that’s still evolving. As a painter you slowly perceive the reality of forms as process. How a form is made becomes more important than what it is-and what it does or how it acts becomes the reality.
I work in a few directions. One way is to hold an image in my mind- say I’m going to paint a seated figure, or a head. I don’t know what it will look like or whether it’s male or female or if it’s large or small- all this evolves in the process- what’s important to me is that there is recognition of an aspect of self. Many people see my work as expressionistic. That’s not something I necessarily strive for – I see myself as a formalist. My concerns are always about composition. How one shape acts on another, positive, negative space- depth and weight and most important- what kind of space can forms exist in. I believe that the emotion comes from the fact that I can never get what I’m after because I don’t know it till I see it.
Another way I work is, to me even more difficult because I have no anchor. I start from a gesture and react to it. Without an object in mind I hold to whatever knowledge I’m acquired as to constructing a picture- the openness places me in a space that is uncomfortable and I grasp for meaning and content. I search for a poetics- an encounter again with an aspect of the self. It’s like being a composer.-What do they hold to? Melody - Harmony – Rhythm – that carries the internal content to a certain form.
If a picture suggests the natural world of appearances I force my mind to concentrate on developing its weight- placement-light – anything but the overwhelming desire to name it. That way I can suspend the moment of recognition and mystery.