“In the beginning, trees were trees, mountains were mountains,
and rivers were rivers.
Then came a time when trees were no longer trees, mountains were no longer mountains, and rivers were no longer rivers.
Now, trees are once again trees, mountains are once again mountains, and rivers are once again rivers.”-Zen saying
My paintings reflect our lives. Each day, we encounter both the unexpected and the predictable. We make choices based on experience but endure circumstances that are beyond our control. Day by day, our lives play out. Similarly, my paintings are created in layers of subsequent events that unfold into stories. These stories are not literally rendered but are alluded to poetically through color and form. Spatial effects, sensations of time and suggestions of physical environments exit in my paintings. I create scenes that exist only in my imagination, yet are inspired by the naturalism and reality of our world.
I am intrigued by the tension that exists between chance and choice. In life, we try our best to be in control: in control of money, relationships, our health, etc. Life, however, often likes to throw curve balls. Suddenly, we are forced to change our course, to adapt. In my painting process, I balance systematic, logic-driven approaches with elements of chance and the accident. For example, I mix colors systematically but also choose colors randomly from miscellaneous jars and tubs lying around my studio. Certain brush marks are precisely laid down and finessed while other times paint is pressed onto the surface of the canvas, creating unpredictable textures and shapes.
There are perhaps three realms of awareness in my paintings: First there is the hidden content, the associations to life and our consciousness. Everything from birth and death to the four seasons to raw emotion can drive my decisions as a painter. These ideas or issues always lurk beneath the surface, present but unseen. The second realm is that of formal painting or the visual language of paint. This is what we literally see, the textures, the transparent washes of color, the matte areas versus the glossy areas, etc. Some people unfortunately get stuck here, those who see only an abstract painting and nothing more. Granted, I indulge in this realm but there is more… The third realm is that of transcendence, where formal painting is set free. This is truly the abstract state, where a mark or a color can be a surrogate for actual things and ideas. This is where we envision forms as images, where marks function as maps of our existence, where allusion and illusion intertwine.