When I begin painting, I paint intuitively, adjusting the composition and choosing bold and contrasting color. In my most recent works – that describe the power of nature and reference my youth growing up on the flat plains of Oklahoma – my painting process includes using anything but a brush to build up thin layers of acrylic paint to describe various aspects of open skies, rain, flat lands and the true awesomeness of a power greater than me. Initial gestural movements overlap and intersect to build an organic network of shapes, value and color.
Along the way, there is a moment where I have to decide where on the abstract spectrum each painting will and – semi-abstract, traditionally abstract or near-non-representation. The process is truly a conversation between the surface – wood panel - and me, and in mid-stream, it is important to balance the early, sometimes clunky, layers with a sensitive and analytical approach to resolve the painting.
While I create the work in all different sizes, due to the final landscape look I achieve, I often choose a panoramic format to help inform and describe the scene that generated the final work. Not being able to find these formats commercially, I often build my own surfaces – in sizes that include 10” x 30”, 12” x 36” and 12” x 48”. To these panoramic versions, I often add square formats – both large and small – as foils to break up the overall look and add complexity to a collection.
While I am naturally drawn to landscape scenes, I am an abstractionist at heart, and continue to explore ways of merging the two genres. Disallowing brushes helps me bridge the gap between abstraction and representational painting in my landscapes. Joining styles together allows me to communicate landscapes in a new way with both bold value differences and visual mystery.
These abstracted scenes are my attempt to reveal not only how I see the places I’ve lived and been, but also the feelings I have experienced when absorbing the feelings of place. Taking in both the physical and mental landscape along the way – and promoting a feeling of connectedness – is of ultimate importance to me.