Painter’s Statement

Painter’s Statement

I have been painting and drawing, as my life’s work, for approximately fifty-five years.
The emphasis of what I do has changed from the more overtly sensational and Surrealistic imagery of the 1960s and 1970s to the more idiosyncratic narratives of today. Much of what I work with revolves around everyday events and the curious nature of our ordinary activities.

A great deal of my art activity is in drawing, collage and construction. These works inform the paintings and often, acting as preliminary studies, account for a painting’s finished visual format.

I have worked extensively in emblematic representations of remembered situations for many years. I’ve conjured memories and dreams of the real world and used resulting images as painting subject matter, working from my imagination. For the last several years I’ve done many plein-air studies on paper to replenish my visual blueprint of the world, returning to the primary information found in periods of extensive looking. This is in addition to my lifelong pattern of giving consideration to contrary ways of seeing and thinking as a defense against habitual, predictable, predestined perceptions.

The paintings, acrylic on canvas, are composed of many layers of acrylic resin and paint. While they appear thinly painted, they are the result of a complex layering process. The drawings are most often graphite or charcoal on rag paper with acrylic or watercolor washes and glazes with a final layer of drawing material added to restate the primacy of drawing.

I also hope, like the Surrealists in the earlier part of last century, to infuse a bit of the marvelous and fantastic into my work. Formats are often at least dualistic, at times combining cartoon, photographic, emblematic and invented conventions within a single work.

It is my intention that these paintings and drawings ask questions and hopefully provide answers regarding how we see, experience and remember the world. They confront basic philosophical concerns such as the relationship between “appearance” and “reality”. The works focus on previously learned knowledge that we often superimpose on our sensory awareness. Even given attempts to be empirical, these visual and idiosyncratic preconceptions play a considerable part in our perceptions. Akin to sub atomic physics, they affect how we form and ask a question, which in part, determines the answers to such questions. I continue to be fascinated with painting this mind/eye/memory process.