Can you tell me about your practice? How do you get started on a piece of work?
Finished work materiI get started with a simple drawing that’s basically a configuration of shapes that contain an underlying narrative idea; once I draw that initial set of relationships, I then manipulate them in minor and major ways - to see where I’m led. I used to use a small notebook and a pencil, but for the last few years, I’ve been using Procreate because I can save a version and then move incrementally away from the original configuration. Eventually, after dozens of versions, I’ve found a set of relationships that seem familiar yet peculiar. I use this final version to start a painting. Inevitably, more changes happen during the process of painting.
Who or what are your biggest influences?
Although there are many contemporary artists that move me, my biggest influence is a love of painting from earlier centuries and decades: Bonnard, Morandi, Velasquez, Rubens, Van Eyck, Van der Goes, Pontormo, Gorky, Guston, etc. Taking in their works allows me to experience the past present in a heady way.
Initially on first viewing, your work has a bold flat graphic feel to it, but you quickly gain a sense of tension within the work, and a depth, almost three-dimensional that makes you feel as though the paint is going to explode out of its skin, can you talk more about this?
I think your initial read is the nature of trying to read a digital image. In reality, edge relationships vary—some are crisp, some are blurry—and many shapes become sculptural through the illusion of light and gravity. I like to imagine situations between abstraction and perception, or abstraction and sensation, so I invent relationships that are partly geometry and partly animated. Surface drips and smears remain in the paintings, which interrupt the geometry and reveal the coincidences and complexities of time as well as the materiality of paint.
I paint in oil because of its malleability, versatility, and saturation level. In my process, I work wet into wet, sand and scrape surfaces, and rely on intense colours, all of which are accommodated by using oil.
Procreate helps me experiment with the way shapes, forms, and colours interrelate so I can invent very specific relationships, like shadows, or the way gravity might affect forms. With Procreate I can follow a Rube Goldberg-esque process of if, then. I often adjust relationships for hours and nothing comes of it, but I know I’ll discover a situation to paint if I give myself enough time for trial and error, new insights, and accidents.
Finally, is there anything new coming up that you would like to tell us about?
I’ll have a couple of tapestries in Homespun, an exhibition focusing on textile works at the Dorsky Museum in New Paltz, NY in February. In April, I have a solo exhibition of new paintings at McKenzie Fine Art.