For the past 25 years I have been experimenting with non-traditional art materials in my paintings. Often I use common, un-fine art materials, coarse building supplies (wood, concrete, chicken wire, straw, mud, and plaster) to construct the ground for the painting. I like the banal nature of these materials, their inherent integrity and grounding power. Starting with this highly textural and articulated surface I cast various textures, found objects and common materials into the actual structure before I begin painting. After the masonry ground is built I use wax or shellac to seal the surface and then I begin adding layers of oil pigment. I am obsessed with the infinite flexibility and innovation of this process which I have developed. My work employs a reverse archeology of sorts, where the surface layer explains the drama, the objects become the players, and the ground becomes the stage or arena of action.

Each layer grows out of the previous one: 

Wooden ground
Wire & masonry matrix
Objects (found and constructed)

Almost all of my ideas come from a poetic or literary impetus, a phrase or concept that I run across that stimulates a visual metaphor. This is an almost entirely intuitive process in my mind. The source is unimportant other than its existence as a catalyst. Then the concept becomes wed with materials and objects and the painting grows out of the two. For all my mixed media explorations they are just tools to get to the expression of the idea and its visual evolution. So much of what I am trying to paint about cannot be explained through words. Look at the painting, bring your own perception to it. Imagine what you want, I do not expect you to know what each painting is about to me.  The artist, the process, the product and the perception of the viewer engage in a complex dialogue.  

process & practice

My studio, 2002