How I Paint I begin my paintings with a line that conveys form, emotion, and meaning. I conceive of this line, which I start with, as geodesic, and I give it substance by marking it on either side with points of color. Bear in mind that geodesics is the study of how structure is created. I use color for its ability to evoke feelings. As I work, the lines on my canvases become forms, as they are continuously added to. Eventually they fill up the canvas. As conceived in the human mind, a line consists of points. I use that concept, adding a sensibility that comes from the awareness of the geodesic qualities of a line. As the line grows and expands across the canvas, it becomes a dynamic whole, appealing to the sense of closure that the human mind searches for. This style produces a topographic surface. One could think of it as a map, or the perspective of looking down on a landscape from above, like a satellite photo. Images seen through a microscope are also similar. The interior of the eye can also be seen as a topographic surface.
As I focused on my painting at the beginning of the pandemic, I eliminated the figure ground relationship that I was using. I started using a repetitive shape and overlapped it across the canvas. This treats the canvas as a skin. This style gives substance to both the lines of composition and the surface of the canvas. I think of the marks that I use in making a painting, as I draw them, as revealing the history of the painting’s formation. The lines seem to grow in front of me. As I proceed from the line outward, the painting reveals the stratification of its own creation. Old Master portraits would freeze a moment in a persons life for eternity. I take a moment of eternity and freeze that moment with the mark I make at that time, creating a painted image on a canvas.
With Cubism, as artists responded to the Theory of Relativity, they explored changes in their relationship to objects and artistic forms. The Theory stated that all objects have their own space-time and can construed as having a multi-dimensional existence beyond the third dimension. Cubist art work expressed this in multifaceted ways. As the 20th century’s understanding of the universe and the realities contained within it continued to be debated, artists’ imaginations rose to the task. This continues today, as the nature of truth comes into play with the experiments revealing the workings of quantum mechanics, black holes, and dark matter. What has been revealed is the very nature of our conscious interaction with the material world. What do we see when we look? How do we form our understanding? What is reality?
The best way to view my work is to live with a painting and allow its aura to fill a room. Its presence will change the light in the room and the painting will engage a viewer’s mind. As light plays across a painting, the viewer will observe the changes that take place in the experience of what they see, as well as the effects of the colors and their reflections in the room. One will notice more and more in the painting, as one looks and sees, and it becomes part of the viewer’s experience. These ideas are the concepts that I am working with. They do not rely on language, imagery, or storytelling for their significance. I find them universally appealing and capable of involving both an intuitive reaction and a thoughtful appreciation in the mind of the art lover.