“New Work” For exhibition at Soprafina Gallery, Boston, MA, October 2015.
These are paintings of observations of the world. I choose to paint people, places, and things that are meaningful to me, and the choice is based on a feeling that I apprehended something resonant. I try to trust that sensation since it is somewhat rare.
I believe that a painting can communicate experience in ways that other mediums can’t. I also believe that we understand the visual language and what someone is communicating with paint without necessarily learning it.
Once the subject matter and emotional connection is established, formal considerations take over. Paintings have an opportunity to make the surface – the brushstrokes and color – an inherent part of the interest and meaning of the work. And also composition, form, space, color. And color is at the service of light, and the thing seen.
By taking on the challenge of painting representationally, I believe I must do more than merely represent. The experience is distilled and re-emerges with a new point of view; that’s where for me simplification, editing, and abstraction occur.
I know I’m done with a painting when I can look at it and not be irritated by it. If I have any success, the initial chord that quietly resonated from the observed moment will be struck for the viewer. And knowing that someone else has experienced some piece of my original apprehension is deeply rewarding for me when it happens. It is usually a struggle to achieve.