The White Columns Curated Artist Registry
is an online platform for emerging and under-recognized artists to share images and information about their respective practices. The Registry seeks to create a context for artists who have yet to benefit from wider critical, curatorial or commercial support. To be eligible, artists cannot be affiliated with a commercial gallery in New York City.
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STATEMENT OF WORK
I am a third generation abstract expressionist-impressionist painter; self-isolation all these months painting without outside interruptions is like being on a grant. I go out to the barn studio from my sleeping bed to see if the painting is what I thought it was when I went to sleep the night before, (or, is it still there)? and then paint on it all day, day after day. Each night I would tell myself before sleep, “I think I am getting better.” That was why, I would tell myself, I still paint. By late March many more people were dying. I love my solitude, but I was sad, so sad. I would bring this reality into the painting. Then the sun would come up and the buds open a little more each day, giving me another chance to do what I do well and then, even better. How could I best express my most passionate realities I see in the landscape (the story beneath ordinary everyday life things), producing on canvas much of what people feel when they get religious? I had been painting every day for decades and now had new focus: combining fear with beauty. As the pandemic continues, these two subjects remain the focus of my recent painting.
My paintings hold in them emotion, spirit, soul, and memory, all of which rise up in touching oil paint. How colors relate is everything: the color finds the light, creates the shape. A process/improvisational painter, I search for composition through rhythms, harmonies, synchronizations, counterpoints. The more I paint, the more specific these things become.
I often think I am missing out on other things' out there,' but once I stand in front of a canvas in my studio, I become brilliant. Morning becomes evening 'just like that." Painting teaches me patience, humility and compassion. My painting progress over time visually documents how I have spent my time here on earth.
My paintings are like windows peering into space beyond their four edges. Plastic gravity pulls the viewer spatially inside the painting. I feel like I am at a construction site breathing life onto the canvas through a simultaneous building up and a tearing down of color. What is the distance between the forms, how do I get the space between them to move? The intervals are found through a process of elimination: I get rid of what does not enhance the whole, and add what does.
The general misunderstanding of a painting is due to missing it’s spiritual and technical qualities. If the observer’s eye is not trained to equate formal visual problems with those things, he/she will search for things which have little to do with the aesthetic content of a painting, looking for representational things instead of music-like relationships. My paintings are about the structural spaces that make up volumetric composition through the relationship of colors.
I paint the light that emanates from seasonal color combinations that occur in landscape. How does the color define a particular place through the act of painting itself? The viewer is invited to enter through the architectural construction of my drawings or paintings, and be moved by it.
Each of my paintings represents a crystallized chunk of formal experience, while being very personal at the same time. My paintings are earthy, rock-like and weighty, and yet they have in them the rhythm of the sea. I am a nature painter; the nature “out there” coupled with my own internal landscape. My inner finds the equivalent ‘out there.’
How I place shapes together becomes the structure in both the paintings and the drawings: ‘(where’ they exist in space in relationship to each other). The dialog between ideas lives in me like a fascinating story I'm telling. Invention surges up and I paint out of curiosity: a problem area in the painting becomes a foreign country in which to travel. I continue to strengthen the major concept as it is in the process of becoming "whole." I can never quite get there, but I get closer as I develop my skill, over time. A familiar shape worked out in the last painting gets obliterated in the new one, for it cannot have a name that has already been spoken. Just as an improvisational musician finds his "lines," I enjoy the struggle inside the search.
My painting process is unsettling, passionate, radical, and driven. All together, a body of paintings becomes like the movements of a symphony that take a year or more to fully realize. Each painting has immediacy to it, but takes time to complete; it’s my own personal paradox. The painting is the consequence of technique and skill brought about by the concept. That is how what ends up on my canvas gets said, and how my paintings come to be.