“Mending” is a series of mixed media paintings presenting metaphor for a well-traveled, mindful life. The black and white ground stands as the traveler’s essence; his potentials and he comes into his world. Flat, rectilinear areas reflect milestones, accomplishments; met expectations. These are both interrupted by textured, organic forms that constitute effects of the unanticipated turns of event that enrich a person’s experience. During the process of creation, the artist embraces his own gains and losses. Each completed work reminds him that while his journey has been marked equally by fortune and miscue, the experience has transfigured him. While the viewer is with one of the paintings, the artist asks that he consider his own experience, the pathway he has chosen; feelings of security, adventure and individuality. He can also touch the surface to enliven the connection.
Making this surface is the most challenging aspect of the series. The geometric portions of the artwork tend to be built up with the endless supply of corrugated boxes that enter my household. I collaged old shirts and pants pockets - terry wash cloths. Lately, I use old statements from my retirement plans* to shred and then mixed with water to process paper pulp which I then mixed with acrylic gesso. This mixture is then spread and formed with hands and fingers spatulas and other non traditional implements to add texture. After multiple layers (the paste shrinks aggressively) it finally drys to a hard ground after about a week and has become quite permanent. Painting the object can be easy - almost like an afterthought. I seek to set up patterns of visual consonance and disonance (vibration) with numerous layers of acrylic media.
* I use financial statements exclusively. While my wife and I have saved well, the statements remind me that the way we are measured is not the value of the 401k. Rather it is in the contribution we make to our world, our communities and our families. I hope that my art is a more permanent reflection of value.
Abstract Paintings - "GridSet"
I’ve been debating the merits of ritual in my life. Some ritual like the Mass of my Roman Catholic youth, nourished, engaged the spirit and became a stabilizing presence. The routines related to occupation come to mind; the view out the windshield during commute, the favorite flavor from the coffee service; the predictable behaviors of our peers.
The practices of work anchor us... heavily, I think. I’ve always found myself at odds with the safe life-path that I have adopted. I earn income in an academic setting of science and research. Being industrious, I have been able to accumulate a lot of stuff; a spouse, a house, cars… a 401k of dubious value. Each of these is subject to its own routine.
GridSet is a series of paintings that celebrate the joy I experience when I escape the routine and touch the possible. They are informed by my fascination with pattern, urban landscape and my enjoyment of topographical and road maps. The grid-pattern functions as a metaphor for sovereign structure in life. Often the anarchy of lines and shapes is set against the orderliness of the grid. Under all, multiple layers of texture played against flat areas.
In reflection, my circumstances perform well for me on a number of levels. Most notable is the motivation that I feel to cleanse myself and reclaim the creative after a structured day at work. My maps, patterns and skylines all rejoined once again in the studio to rejuvenate my spirit and offer nourishment to face another day.