love to paint. I've been a visual artist all my life, and I've worked
in many media over the years. My path to painting was a slow one,
by way of drawing, silversmithing, batik, soft sculpture, photography,
animation, and 3D computer graphics. But when I began painting in
1996, I found the true conduit for expressing the world as I see it
in my mind's eye.
Painting is an opportunity to create images of things
as they might be instead of as they are, to reflect the essence
of a place as it strikes me in my heart. This might mean leaving
things out, adding things in, or making changes. But always it's
an attempt to get at what I see as the essence of the model. Viewers
will still recognize a place that's been changed in the image, so
long as the spirit of the place is not lost.
Painting also gives me a chance to present characters
and places that don't really exist. I hesitate to call even my most
abstract paintings abstract, because even in these there is a sense
of place and space.
Composition, perspective, color and texture are
my favorite tools when painting. I tend to think of compositions
and perspective as the "bones" of a painting. Once the
basic bones of a painting are laid out, they provide a structure
on which to drape the gorgeous colors of paint and textures of the
brush. I have no problem with changing proportions and perspective
if they will serve the composition and sense of space; for example,
I'll rotate a set of steps out of proper perspective if it means
we'll get a good look at them that we'd otherwise miss. Similarly,
I'll change color and texture to serve the painting; if a roof "feels"
purple, I'll paint it purple even though it's gray in reality. And
I might turn concrete into grass if green will provide the setting
that the building really needs.
Others have said that painting is a dialog between
the painter and the model. But for me, painting is more than that.
It's really a four-way conversation that includes two other players.
First, there is the painting itself. As the composition and colors
begin to take shape, a painting will often call me to depart from
reality in different ways than I initially intended. And second,
there is something else more mystical; I'm not sure whether it's
chance, the subconscious, or the voice of experimentation, but it's
certainly important. Sometimes I'll just let this voice take over,
and try to exert less willful influence over the brush instead of
more. This can be a risky endeavor, especially when it happens towards
the end of a painting. But time has taught me to accept the urge;
it always works and often I'll find a new technique this way that
I'll be able to use at a later time.
Finally, painting puts me where I want to be, both
literally and figuratively. Literally, in that I get to stand in
beautiful places for hours at a time as I paint them. And figuratively
because I am transported into that wonderful state where the outer
world, my inner world, color and image all become one. I hope that
my paintings take you, too, to a place that brings you joy.