Friday, May 30, 2014


Jesus said that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.  I believe this and extend it to all communication, including visual art.  The random techniques of Abstract Expressionism and Surrealism express directly the joie de vivre abundant within me by the Holy Spirit.  

However, in recent pieces imagery is reduced to panels of texture, bridging into a gritty form of Minimalism.  Whether chunky or slick, the materials are being emphasized and are more expressive in spite of the paintings increasingly stoic forms. 

I edit heavily.   I pile on paint and thickly textural elements like leaves, grasses or bark.  The latest works feature hay from my dairy barn studio and cat tails gathered from marshes in upstate New York.  I use local elements as a way of assimilating my environment and regional culture. 

After embedding these elements into the paint I scrape off what I can.  Of what remains, I isolate the lines and shapes that are the essence of the chaotic underpainting.  The experience and process of this discovery motivates my creative urge.  I look for surprise in materials, process and imagery, as surprise is the beginning of delight!


Monday, May 19, 2014

Extenuating Circumstances and Life.

I once had an 8 year long break between artworks.  I've also had stretches of sporadic art production, grinding out stuff as I've been able to cram it into spare time, doing maybe a dozen measly, incoherent pieces in a year; year after year. 
But that really is life...we're not art making machines, we're people; and we make art.  Sometimes there are more important things than doing our artwork.  We are multi-faceted beings, and our artwork is only one facet.  Our other aspects must develop.

It had been 8 freakin' first wife had died of breast cancer.  I was sitting on the sofa maybe a month after she'd passed.  Watching "Roseanne"...

I said to myself, "If I were an artist I'd be upstairs (in my wife's dormant studio) making artwork."  I turned off the television, went upstairs and got to work. 

We return to our art with a deeper experience to draw from; a greater awareness of love, of responsibility, and commitment; and making a more excellent product.
Have a little faith, gird up your loins, and believe.  Do you feel that life is crowding art right out?  This is going in a dynamic and profound direction for you.  You will do great and powerful things.  It will work.  You will not fail if you do not quit.  Having responsibilities is not quitting, it is being admirably strong.

You are admirable.  You are strong.  It will show.