The inspiration for my paintings is twofold: in the beginning there is a subject.  Could be a small scarlet car passing under a freeway bridge on a drizzly day.  Or a photo of a chair-bound senior citizen, or the ridiculous number of thermoses on top of my fridge. Ultimately, however, the painting is inspired by what happens on the canvas. Once something is up there, then that is the subject. 

I can get very attached to my original idea, but my first duty is to make a good painting.  Still, the original plan and the end product do have a strong relationship because the second, third, fourth and however many renditions of the painting grow from each other.  I try to correct each mistake or solve each problem and the painting doesn’t just change, it grows, as I do, I hope.

My process starts with some loose, expressive drawing with vine charcoal on a pad or with paint directly on the canvas.  I get where I’m going quicker if I keep the basic tenets of composition in mind – balance, tension, scale, rhythm of color, line and shape. I generally mix my colors on my palette and use the scrub-off-and-replace method rather than mixing on canvas.  When time allows I try to reach a resolution of the whole painting in one go. Then I revise and revise.  I’m an editor by nature; I sand and scrape, and if the paint is still wet, get out the thinner and wipe.  Then, begin again.

I love the way each painting not only suggests a new direction but also seems to tell me to do it better next time. Today, I would like to develop my work in two directions – complexity and darkness - without losing sight of what I am already doing.

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