When I paint I am standing in the desert alone, facing the vast horizon, the pale gradations of sand, sand-colored rock, sand-colored plants, sand-colored sky. There is nowhere to look for relief.
I work on a canvas in layers over days or weeks. The painting's past affects its present, leaving traces and influences that subtly or dramatically guide what happens next. Acrylic is the perfect medium for me because it dries fast. I work quickly while the paint is wet, covering the whole canvas. The next day I rework it.
When I go to the blank canvas it is upright on an easel. Loud music plays in the background. I dig deep for the anger, the melancholy, the inexplicable energy and exhaustion of daily life, to express it in a large gesture. Audacious color. Reckless line.
I struggle with the canvas, building it up and breaking it down. Very often a hideous accident occurs: the paint does not flow evenly from the tube; colors clash in careless abandon; irregular drips and splotches dot the surface. My eye is offended by what it sees.
My passion is to tease this ugliness, this unlikely blend of colors and shapes, this painting's lurid history, into a visual coherence. I foreground the ghosts of a painting's past, highlight the error of its ways, coax its indeterminism into strength of purpose. Look closely and you will see a mess. Stand back and the painting's organic life plays out in front of you.
Space is there to be enclosed and disclosed; defined and defiled by line; shaped and misshaped by form; made subtle, empty or blatant through color. Form. Line. Color. Some days we dance together, some days we engage in a bloody fistfight.
The painting session is over. The paint dries. The next day I start again.