Artistic Process

Viewers of my paintings and prints often comment with questions that invite a dialogue with the work.

“Is it a painting or encaustic?”
They are paintings; I use acrylic, alkyds and oil based aerosol paints.

“Why is the panel so smooth, can I touch it?”
I distress and sand the surface to an exacting smoothness that can accept silkscreen and other printing techniques. Please do not touch the art.

“Why do you paint on wood panels versus canvas or paper?”
My background in sculpture and carpentry led me to start painting on wood panels. I love the flexibility and ease of the manipulation of wood. My relationship with wood began in my junior high school wood shop class. The duality of liquid paint and solid wood is what excites me about the process. It only seems natural that I combine the two mediums.

“How do you come up with your ideas?”
I love color, bright or subtle, all of the various values and hues. Color is an avatar of my emotional states. When I travel, listen to music, read a book I envision colors associated with those experiences. Color is my alphabet, various textures represent the punctuation and the scale of the work of art is the volume of my unique voice.

“What inspires you to create?”
I am addicted to creating marks engaging various media like drawing, painting, printmaking, music, dance, theater and films. Nature is another inspiration.

“How do you make your paintings?”
I begin a painting by preparing the ground or the surface of the wooden panels. I prime the inside of the [crib], or the interior back of the panel. I also prime the surface to be painted on. After many layers of gesso and then under-painting and sanding the panel is ready to be painted.

Depending on the size of the image and the number of paintings in the series this process can be quite time consuming. The art processes are the most important part of my praxis. The second phase of painting is layering colored acrylics on the primed panel. I use traditional house painting brushes, my hands, palette knives and putty knives as well as aerosol paint.

I paint flat on a rolling table instead of on an easel; I enjoy the spontaneity of composing in the round. Improvisation and intuition have proven to be assets that guide my work. I push myself to become one with the paint, the surface and the layers of applied pigment.

Finishing a painting is the most unnerving of sensations. Is it done? Does it need more red or green or blue? How does it compare or contrast to a sister piece? Eventually I let go of a sense of control and allow the music of the images to inspire the next piece.