From the earliest moment I can recollect I have experienced an unusually strong visual pull toward beauty, proportion, style, and color.
The greatest gift of all in this process has been the development of a close lifetime friendship with Wolf Kahn, artist extraordinaire and master colorist. This friendship has grown over the last thirty-five years. Strategic to my becoming an artist has been twenty-five years of one-on-one private lessons with him, which included open-air pastel studies. He taught me the dynamics and beauty of color and, most importantly, how color combinations and expression literally speak their own narrative language, which when successful take the form of “evoking human emotion.”
Fits and starts and ten years into the educational process of studying with Wolf Kahn, I found my own artistic voice and style. My goal is that every single painting I complete meets my definition of beauty and standards, as well as evoking emotions in me. Simply put, all my paintings are multi-sensory experiences.
My painting sensibilities fall within four theoretical categories: 1) more-is-more 2) less-is-more 3) more-is-less or finally 4) less-is-less. Of course what I love is the end achievement of either “more-is-more” (which is most of my paintings) or “less-is-more” (on rare occasions). I do not complete or begin again paintings that fall into the last two undesired categories.
Throughout my painting process I am always reminded and aware of two artistic guidelines (and quotes) from my mentor Wolf Kahn:
- “Keep painting on that surface until you feel that even one more drop of paint applied anywhere would ruin the painting,” and
- “In painting, as in life, one should always go further than one should go.”
I found my artistic expression through the medium of watercolor in the early 1990s, especially with large-scale highly vitreous multilayer abstract images. Everything I have done since, including my progression to other mediums and surfaces, stems from my initial large-scale watercolor experiences. My artistic desires have been profoundly impacted by the translucency of watercolors combined with the opaqueness of gouache. The fusion of layer upon layer results in a perception of depth and, of course, my version of beauty.
My paintings are always an expression of the conflict between simplicity and complexity. I start every painting with a natural unstructured plan. Then I keep adding on, going further with each image. More often than not this process quickly leads to either a visual conflict/problem, or worse yet, having already gone too far. When this occurs the visual conflict needs to be resolved. Crucial to my approach is the process of solving the visual conflict. I contemplate it in my mind with a game plan, and then undertake the actual solution. Sometimes conflict resolution is not a one-step process. If successful, “visual magic” occurs. For me this pinnacle moment brings me an enormous thrill and tremendous gratification. Past success always breeds hope eternal for each new visual conflict.
Before starting a new work I always have the feelings of high expectation that precede any journey; for the painting process is a journey without a predetermined destination. You have an idea where you want to go but not what the details or surprises might be. As each work progresses I become elated as I discover the rewarding path of the journey! With this also come feelings of possession and responsibility for the work’s continuation, completion, and success.
In the last ten years I have begun to categorize my works in terms of subgroups of images. I did this for two reasons: firstly for the organization of a website and the rational display of my abstract images; secondly for the purpose of visualizing a beginning and an end, and thus refining and creating new images and subgroups relating to my earlier work.
My objective is to make striking diversified color images that are not only beautiful, but also evoke excitement in my collectors. When this occurs, I am thrilled and fulfilled. And I just want to do it again and again. Nothing makes me happier artistically than receiving calls from collectors telling me how much they enjoy living with my paintings.