The process of making art is a thinking through: “finding our way in this world of variety” as Paul Klee put it. In my work complex combinations of tightly controlled and freely gestural marks have served as vehicles for my explorations. I have always identified with Cezanne’s reference to his work as “my researches”.
Artists think with their senses: they think in the medium they have in hand. Technique is not a way to externalize a thought process already completed: it is, rather, the activity in which the thought develops.
I like puns. I try to restrain myself (my wife helps) when at the end of each painting process I seek verbal titles. But the art itself inevitably brings about double meanings. Every mark plays its part both on the surface and in the pictorial space, just as musical notes are often both chord elements and parts of a melodic line. Every element in the painting is a trace of my activity and an instigator of perceptual activity for the viewer, but at the same time it is part of a physical object, which does not literally move. Shifting identity and dynamic interplay make it possible for paintings to become metaphors for the activity of living. We constantly seek fixed images, yet time moves on.
Working with paint, drypoint needle, or oil pastel, I am aware of much that has been done with these materials. It is at one and the same time a very personal struggle within my own specific situation, and a conversation with a rich diversity of visual art traditions.
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly the influence on my work of our move to New Mexico from New Jersey: a move my wife and I made in 1987. I know it goes beyond the marvelous landscape: involvement with new people in new contexts has somehow both mixed up and clarified my thinking.
My acrylic paintings, prints and other works on paper are attempts to sort out, and come to terms with, my experiences in life. Through making art I can move toward making sense out of the passing scene. Somehow it is important to leave a trace in a physical object: an object which then continues to be available for my own eyes and mind, and for those of others as well. I would hope that my work might enable viewers to share in my attempt to grasp, or at least reach some small truce with, what’s going on.