After one semester abroad, over fifteen years ago, in Sienna Italy, a shift began in my work from an emphasis in Natural Sciences to the Humanities. One was not traded for the other, nor do I perceive the fields as altogether different, emotionally, but the form by which I considered the world around me evolved. Whereas, biology always attempts to classify our own functions and fellow inhabitant of the earth, I looked to art and language and philosophy to understand the general whole, in a way, the manner by which we express ourselves.
To think of art as "transporting" is to establish it as a vehicle to something, not the actual thing we want. The idea of beauty, then the way that it represents what we desire, works in proportion to this expectation. My paintings are searching constructions and meditate on longing for a particular kind of embrace. They reach all over in time, past and present, and to other lands, like a playful, sometimes melancholic quest for a lost sensibility.
Perhaps to restore intimacy in the process I have moved recently from paintings made of oil and tempera to more delicate collages of hand-painted papers. Each piece is a poised counterbalance: an “aged” surface versus contemporary formalism, a golden Italiante palette infused with an oriental sense of space and a combination of antecessors both European and American that have influenced the development of abstraction within recognizable still life. Gouges, incisions, and more beneath the smooth veneer often countermand preciousness of the surface. These are not modern negations of tradition nor cynical of the present, rather, they explore the past for the possibility of new expression.
I try to lend a feeling, a human element in the composition. Figuration remains a trace of single gesture maybe - a bird, a plant or bug - and a lyrical moment above the structure that is crystalline. "Music in Phrases" is this lyricism, the fragile sounds and feeling of our experience within life's organization.
Recently, I have turned away from my previous oil and tempera paintings to concentrate on a new body of work consisting of collage pieces made from delicate papers all of which I hand paint. Each piece reflects a deliberate, poised counterbalance between an “aged” surface and contemporary formalism. Combining a golden Italianate palette and an oriental sensibility, I am continually exploring the abstraction that lies within every recognizable still life. Gouges, incisions and planned irregularities intentionally disrupt the smooth veneer countermanding the preciousness of the surface.
These paintings are not modern negations of tradition, nor cynical reflections of the present, but rather are respectful explorations of the past with the inherent promise of new disclosures. The figuration remains in each piece a trace of simple gesture - a bird, a plant or bug - and creates a lyrical moment above the self-imposed crystalline structure.