I begin a new painting by choosing a subject, which is whatever catches my eye - it could be literally anything - a red car passing under a freeway bridge on a drizzly day.  Or a photo of a chair-bound senior citizen, or my mother standing at the kitchen sink, a thrmos on top of the fridge, a ravaged dog toy. As soon as I have in some way indicated the subject on the canvas, then whatever develops there becomes the subject.  

I can get over attached to my first idea, but my job is to make a good painting regardless of what it is about.  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. If necessary the next day or week or year, 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, start over.  That is the important part - each beginning needs to be a true beginning -- what is up there right now is the starting point of a new experience.

I love the way each painting suggests a new direction. 

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