"What excites me is.... what something looks like far more than what something actually is."
I contemplate my recent work and recognize that I have slowly drifted from the more realistic images I used to paint to a broader depiction of the world. There was a time I thought I would merrily march in the direction of the Renaissance masters drawing the figure rigorously and honing my skills as a figure painter. While this subject still intrigues me, I found myself growing increasingly attentive to the spaces people occupied, particularly their common, familiar everyday surroundings. I began to understand that what truly interested me in painting was the color, the shapes, the light and the design. What excites me is what something looks like far more than what something actually is. And this discovery led me to paint interior and exterior spaces with or without figures and still lives. And it altered how I painted the figure as well. It is the abstraction of things that I find fascinating and the root of my vision.
I find seeing everything in terms of an abstract design the most exhilarating part of painting. There is a place where representation and abstraction meet, and it is an exhilarating endeavor for me to push that boundary allowing some of an image to be clearly understood and other parts to be vaguer, dissolving into a cacophony of interesting shapes and color. It is coincidence that the abstract shapes, color and value happen to resemble something we recognize. This becomes a game for me sometimes to pretend I don’t know what things are and to only paint the shapes I see objectively and honestly. And it turns out this is precisely what it takes to paint a representational image. But within the representational I try to find areas where I can dissolve into flat shapes, lose edges completely or express a pleasing color combination emphasizing the design aspects over the physical content. I take liberties with color in particular often exaggerating or changing completely my observation in order to create a more emotional result. And I enjoy laying down colors as individual shapes allowing harder edges between them rather than making smooth transitions from one color to the next. These shapes turn into a kind of collage or set of puzzle pieces which I find most thrilling.
All thrill seeking and adventure aside my objective ultimately is to create emotional paintings balancing the content with the design elements I find most pleasing in order to connect with the viewer and our common humanity. Painting for me is a conversation. And I wish to speak my visual voice and hopefully my work resonates with people.