For many years now I have been introducing new materials to my work. I find that one material can activate a dialogue with another and can create certain tensions. My work is a philosophical inquiry; I use the language of abstraction, blending it with the pictorial and pastoral, to create hybrid, textural landscapes. Painting as a language presents itself as a game for me to dissect; it enables me to play within its delicate balance. I have always been interested in creating an environment for my paintings, either through transforming the gallery space into an installation, or introducing three-dimensional sculptural objects to engage in a relationship with a two-dimensional work. I find that this dialogue between installation and painting creates a certain dialectic that offers the opportunity to form a broader interpretation of the work.
The work that I make is a collection of unpredictable forms, one that produces an intimate relationship between the act of painting, the unconscious and intuition. In the last four decades I have committed much of my studio practice to a mixology; an alchemy which tends to direct the composition toward visual play, a paronomasia of textural complexities and surface variations. My paintings are problems that I construct for myself and try to solve through exploration and experimentation. Formal decisions bounce back and forth, the past and present are analyzed; this process creates a visual recording and evidence of decision making. The surface I work with becomes a "wearing down" of time, a form of weathering an articulation of memory.
This re-contextualizing is a process which is shaped by continual questioning, and by constant construction and deconstruction. This is the basis of my painting practice, it is a place where I create temporality, construct elements that contain time and form personal histories.
The paint material I use as ground is diatomaceous earth, actual fossilized remains of diatoms - a type of hard-shelled algae. When added to gesso it makes a palette of many shades of a putty color. I find this color to have a transparency and a physicality that allows the painting to be constructed in a tactile but minimal way. It is a material that reminds me of my first time painting with water on cement as a child, a temporal state that fascinated me. When the surface of the painting is scraped, what remains is a highly polished area. These variations of smooth to rough are how the paint surface reflects or deflects light. While I paint I am reminded of the still lifes of Giorgio Morandi, how shapes butt up against each other in a caressing way. I too find it necessary to butt my morphing geometric shapes, so that they depend on each other. I strive for a type of imbalance; a perspective flipping, a dynamic symmetry, one where gravity is challenged and space is rearranged. My painting practice consists of navigating a weave of memories falling out of chaos, of finding a place where still life meets landscape. I have worked to redefine the concept of landscape and break down its essential relationship within the language of abstract painting. What I seek is a place where one form slips, in a kind of timeless lapse, into another.