For a few years I took my atmospheres to a largely non-objective form inspired by Joan Mitchell, Helen Frankenthaler and Mark Rothko. If you go to my website now you’ll find one remaining work. I think I lost interest because of Instagram. I worked so hard to infuse my spaces with meaning—like those icons of the 50s—but now because of this here platform you can scroll through and find one example after another of meaningless blobs of color and form called abstract painting th
I can't remember a painting in the past 10 years that hasn't had a poem or writing attached to it, either in the making or the titling. These words have not been included in my website presentation of my works for a purely aesthetic reason, to keep the space clean and uncluttered and for the focus to be on the painting itself. I do understand that many people are interested in the inspiration for works and so I'll try to periodically share the words along with the work here
This abstract painting is ripe with with pentimenti–meaning the underlayers and marks that show through subsequent layers. This effect is hard to photograph because it is not high contrast, yet ever so important to the experience of the painting and the sentiment I tried to evoke. There is a richness of depth to take in, if you can get the viewer to stop skimming the surface for just one minute. There is a sense of water and fluidity and just a suggestion of landscape. An
I’ve been looking at works of and learning about Helen Frankenthaler recently. She was an early influence on my work, along with Rothko, primarily because of her staining method. There is something wonderful about the paint becoming the canvas and the canvas becoming the painting, and with Rothko’s layering technique I’ve always approached my process with a light touch and sensitivity to the originating canvas surface. Precious, almost. I think what I can learn from Franke
One must follow the crumbs, notice what you notice… Just this week, a friend posted on Facebook the word Numinous (word porn definition). The word, at times used to describe my paintings, had not surfaced for a few years. It somehow felt right for a new group of paintings and so I adopted it as an adjective for an exhibit title: the Numinous Season.
Of course, I wanted more and googled Rilke and numinous, to see if anyone else was making this connection–not so much Rilke
And you wait. You wait for the one thing
that will change your life,
make it more than it is—
something wonderful, exceptional,
stones awakening, depths opening to you. In the dusky bookstalls
old books glimmer gold and brown.
You think of lands you journeyed through,
of paintings and a dress once worn
by a woman you never found again. And suddenly you know: that was enough.
You rise and there appears before you
in all its longings and hesitations
the shape of what you lived.
The ideas I wrestle with–spirituality, the unknown, death, wonder, the possible, the unanswerable–are all abstract concepts not easily defined by a signifier. Some artists attempt to “talk” about these subjects through narratives or symbolic paintings. I choose to use the words of Rilke–and his landscape metaphors–to meld the ideas with the abstracted landscape imagery. Rarely is there a subject/object in my paintings–nor is there line or texture. It is just atmosphere an