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. I have always vacillated between these two areas. 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. There is a great strength and power in having choices. This is a metaphor for life.
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.
There is and has always been a fascination for me in creating images that explore the surface 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. The choices I make of whether to diminish or embellish an area are part of my process. 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 or paper are a way of finalizing the image for me.
Understanding the world around me has been a cumulative effect of painting or drawing it. The energy that exists in all things intrigues me. Expressing this in my painting has obsessed me. The schizophrenic-like devotion to abstraction and reality is a huge part of who I am. Finding an avenue between these two looks like one answer, but it need not be so. I have choices! There may be more than one answer.