What I love about painting is that I can follow several different trails and allow the painting process to tell me a story. By reading the tealeaves of various brushstrokes, shapes, and colors subject matter develops organically through self-reflection, visualization, and trial-and-error. I don’t usually have preconceived ideas when painting, but I pick them up along the way.
“I’m not the kind of artist who has an idea and then carries it out; it’s more like I find what the idea was through doing the paintings.” – Cecily Brown
For example, Fat Man in a Little Boat, was not an image I set out to do. He just started to appear over time. I’m not sure what the image means, but when I see him I think about how we are all basically alone during the toughest of times. I remember watching my father drown in his own fluids, due to congestive heart failure. My family and I were unable to do anything to help him other than hold his hand. When I look at this painting, I think about my own mortality and weigh the possibility of a divine presence versus the possibility that my brain is just assigning meaning and purpose to the confusing abstract concepts of loss and mortality.
The imagery is personal. Ideas come to me through time spent pushing paint around while thinking about life. Something always emerges. I like to see what my head, heart, and hand can produce. I work intuitively, gathering imagery from personal experience, memory, and imagination.
“I have no fear of making changes, destroying the image, etc., because the painting has a life of its own.” – Jackson Pollock
On Brothers Bison, I followed a trail that led me to see a buffalo. Once discovered, I decided to change the composition to include another buffalo. In order to do so, I had to re-apply gesso and basically start over. Doing so helped me achieve it’s rich color and dynamic narrative. Again, not sure what it means, but the image makes me think of an older and younger brother protecting each other.
Focusing on good design and compositional movement, I work non-objectively at first. I’m inspired by painterly abstraction, but shoot for representation by refining what I see until it’s a believable space, with purpose, that expresses complex emotions.
Under the Bison Moon, started as thin washes of warm and cool colors. Eventually, I found a melancholy girl sitting by the pool in front of a rugged southwest landscape. My daughter, seems to have inherited a little bit of the family blues, and I believe that realization had a major effect on the creation of this image. The idealized moon and symbolic bison floating in the sky were what remained of previous layers. They worked well together in support of the overall visual story being told.
Ultimately, my paintings portray me: a white, American, middle-aged, middle-class, modern man, who is an outgoing, stay-at-home dad, husband, musician, and graphic designer. I hope my work challenges viewers to contemplate impermanence while appreciating the stories of an unbridled imagination.