Artist statment

I regard my paintings with respect and sometimes with a sense of awe. The imagined and natural forms I make are my visual vocabulary, a gift, developed over the span of a lifetime. Confronted by the unknown and sentient presences, I nurture feelings of gratitude that I am mysteriously guided in knowing what to do; and that clawing fear of not knowing leaves me. How did this happen, where does it come from and how does the force to record images continue to go on being? This question not only motivates me to create but drives me to continue the odyssey.

My images are recorded along a continuum from veils of color to densely textured surfaces of saturated color often complemented by a subtle linearity. Forms seem to emerge from the two-dimensional surface where I feel, more than know, where to place lines, forms, color. I “read” the surface with my brush, much as a person who is sight challenged would read through an arrangement of raised dots on a page.

My work emerges from early-life, perhaps primordial visual images of masses of people who, as they appear to come towards me, decompensate. It feels ancient, like an enormous Pompeian mural with its cracked and forever peeling layers of color and substance. The disintegrating “figures” inhabited the dark places of my child-mind. The closer the mass got, the more terrifying. I felt as if I could suffocate from their pressure and endless presence. Lacking an outlet, I announced my distress with physical symptoms which made it painful to take in and give out the very air I needed to live.

The upside was that I also fell in love with life affirming movement, particularly with improvisation. In fact, my graphic work literally starts as much in my muscles as its imprint, the marks I make, start in my brain. My forms are intuited. Painting is the process used to find or body forth, the forms. Much like Jung’s archetypes, my images are presented versus observed or invented, and I am a conduit in the process. Soutine and Rothko both figure large in my painting repertoire.

For me, the art of painting is a life and death struggle. It is a necessity which, to paraphrase a recent review of my work, “… bridges the gap of time and space and forms a cocoon for the imagination and the heart to hope with. " It is the best way I know to synthesize the cumulative experience of the life around me, tell my story, including the life of the unconscious and the spiritual.