I think we must start by agreeing that the function of visual art is to convey an infinite number and variety of human thoughts into an infinite number and variety of images. The image has to pass thru the artist’s conciseness before it can be articulated. Where does the image comes from? There is such a thing as unconditional expression that does not come from self or other. It manifests out of nowhere like mushrooms in a meadow, like hailstorms, like thunderstorms. Contending with this unknown, possessed by it in fact, the artist puts himself on the imagistic frontier, out into that unknown, taking a piece of it and transforming that piece into a mythological image. Not knowing exactly what he is doing the artist, guided by intuition, contends with something not understood, in order to make it more understandable. We gaze at artwork, begin to become informed by it, but we don’t know why. We don’t know, we gaze at art ignorantly, the unknown shining through it, at us, in partially articulated form, and that I believe is the rule of art.
My work is a mixed-media collage compromising multiple layers of materials using wallpaper paste, contact cement and spray adhesives along with alternating layers of water based and oil-based mediums, acrylics, watercolor, ink, oil and charcoal. I use urethanes, varnishes and shellacs to stabilize extremely thick applications of wax, plaster, ash, dirt, sawdust, along with fabric, snakeskin, rose petals and leaves and other found objects. I am trying to arrange collaged elements with a variety of media until those elements do not seem arranged, until they are as natural as a stream bubbling or the wind in the leaves. Not forcing an image on the viewer, instead letting the viewer find the unknown in the painting themselves; you could say that painting a tree is a form of propaganda, an artist forcing their thoughts and ideas of a tree onto the viewer – propaganda is not the ideal of my art. I believe that a newspaper headline from 1965 holds the energy of the event, that materials are imbued with qualities related to their age and creation; scraps cut from other drawings are representations of the time and the energy required to create them. That they imprint some sort of psychic residue on the viewer; that these materials that have been used become the ghost of that use. The effects of colors, cutting up old books and newspapers, and digital printouts an authentic journey into my subconscious - the infinite possibilities of existence. I work solely with ghosts, weaving them together in a way that allows the viewer to tell a story – to dream gazing at the landscape. The viewer’s personal experience dictates the emotional value of the printed elements; a movie ticket for instance – an action film, but the memory is of the last time you held your love’s hand.
All of work is painted on Masonite or plywood canvases, or parts of old pieces of barn siding and houses, A new canvas is too sterile for my tastes.
In my studio I have a large rolling cabinet filled with all my collage materials, this cabinet is a physical representation of my subconscious; a dream box. There is no organization everything thrown in like a trash can, I have spent countless hours digging through these scraps and pieces. These pieces have touched me in a deeply personal way I can remember working on old paintings just by seeing a scrap or remnant. The materials I have been collecting for over twenty years, old newspapers and magazines bought at thrift stores and eBay auction. Old drawings and paintings, scraps given to me by friends and family as well as followers of my work. Each element of the painting exists in an assigned moment in time, using numerical principles such as phi and logistics maps and studying Vedic math and sacred geometry (Thangka Paintings) to juxtapose textures and colors and balance the composition giving the work a symbolic or sacred dimension, a dream scene a riddle. My paintings are landscapes for the viewer to enter and explore onto which they can project subconscious messages. Working an area until it looks good and then disrupting in with a brush stroke or gluing in a scrap of something; a constant circular process of build and destroy. At some point I realized this was a mimicking of time and the effects of age, the seasons – life on the farm. This earthy aspect bloomed over time into vast complicated landscapes carving is used to remove materials from the paintings surface, painting through subtraction the surfaces are sometimes marred, gouged and sanded. Destruction is as important an element in the process as creation – never be afraid to make mistakes or “ruin” a painting. created spontaneously during the painting process; mimicking thought not allowing an image to become seated in the mind and forced on the viewer screen printing, screening through drapes which creates an “imperfect” print, arbitrary mistakes in patterns represents the chaotic nature of everything. Also, for the first time a digital camera was used to document the progression of pieces. The camera was an excellent tool for experimentation allowing for easy reproduction, increasing the speed by which pieces can be created. More and more photography is being used to capture and document images to be used in the “cut-up” processes that begin most of these pieces