I always thought that there was a clear distinction between artists who worked abstractly and the ones who included recognizable imagery in their work. Happily for me this is not the case. The plurality that exists today in the world of painting makes it possible to move from narrative painting, to abstract images and never leave the realm of exploring the act of mark making and the language of painting. The spiritual aspect of losing and forgetting yourself to the act of painting along with the dichotomy that exists between this self-lessness and the focus on self necessary for self expression are a huge part of my work. This is a clumsy way of saying that I enjoy getting lost in the moment. In essence my work is a celebration of being alive and of the creative moment!
There is and has always been a fascination for me in creating images that explore the surface and medium of the picture plane. I combine various methods, textures and paint to create what becomes a transformative experience. The stain-painting method, masking out areas, creating collaged surfaces and shaping the canvas are elements employed in my visual language that I have developed over time. My paintings on loose canvas are displayed freely on the wall or in framing that allow the entire image to be clear.
Shaping the canvas is a way of finalizing the image for me. The ancient Spartan concept of –coming home either carrying your shield or on it-always gave me a mental picture of a warrior’s commitment to battle. Many of my pieces have a shield-like resemblance because of this. My commitment can be courageous at times-I persist!
The artists who I worked with during my formative years as a painter were deeply committed to the tenants of modernism. Their conviction was so strong that I could not help but be influenced by them. Many of them were learning to paint during that crucial moment in America when Pop was redefining everything and modernism was waning and drowning in its own arcane language. In my youthful innocence I blindly believed my teachers and mentors and I accepted their truth as mine. In many ways I became stuck in the gap that developed between Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art. “Paintings themselves became viable when their real subject was their own making.” Paul Schimmel in Hand-painted Pop: American Art in Transition, 1955-62*, the GAP. I will always take that with me because it is part of who I am, my explorations in paint now combine a little of both worlds.