Musicians, Musical Instruments, Sleeping Monks, Serpents, and Masonic Symbols are recurring images in my art. Although their meaning is very personal, they are merely starting points rather than destinations.
While painting, my original intention gives way to change as the creative process unfolds. For example, when I work from small photographs or preparatory drawings, the transition to canvas creates new visual demands that I must consider. This alters my original pictorial intention. I try to respond emotionally and physically — hoping to remove myself intellectually — to allow instinct, accidents and chance to arise.
I start the process by drawing directly onto each canvas for some length of time, eventually applying multiple layers of impasto, when working in oil, or applying a sawdust/acrylic compound to achieve a sculptural relief surface. My attention is focused on the physical presence of the medium on the flat surface. I am not satisfied until a certain patina of texture emerges more akin to the surface of fired clay or blown glass, than to a painted flat picture plane.
These paintings hint at or partially reveal some visual allegorical mystery or secret, yet I am not interested in illustrating an allegory in the literal sense. I am ultimately striving for a finished painting that shows the residue of allegory, but emphasizes a physically sensuous art object in the abstract, aimed at affecting the emotions.
In this way, I am interested in abstract forms and all that form gives us: design, pattern, mark making, texture, size, volume, weight, color, mood, light and darkness, temperature, etc. I see the artist as magician/craftsman, constantly telling a series of lies to get at the truth. While attempting to complete a painting, I feel my best work is done when I let go of my ego/self and stay on the lookout for what the painting is telling me to do next… until my instincts tell me a piece is finished. I then become a vessel for an outside power that is greater than me. I think that is what Marcel Duchamp meant when he said…”the artist is the painting’s way of getting painted”.