Blonde IIBlue HaremGreen ApplesEffete ManAdamRed Cross ChristBar Mitvah ChristHairpiece

Viewing My Painting

LOOKING BACK AT the last ten years or so of my painting, I see a few stages in my process of trying to explore what I can do with paint and canvas.

As I applied color to the canvas, an inner story would also evolve, which was sometimes even separate from the actual image on the canvas. It's as if there are two main currents running along at the same time: one being the outer surface of the canvas, the other its inner surface, which you can only surmise indirectly by considering the painting choices I have made within the bounds of my ability.

The figure I would choose was usually suggested by a photograph and greatly transformed because I wasn't interested in mere copying. It was essentially a challenge to my emerging skill. I went from one canvas to another only curious to see how the figure and color would work together. But it began to dawn on me that I had certain motifs and themes that I was pursuing, even though I really didn't formulate any concrete thoughts about them right away.

I think one strong painting motive that generated motifs and thematic strains was my constant desire to give the work a certain patina of time, as if the canvas was an old one and showed the effects of age. I saw that I liked the suggestion of aging, degeneration, disintegration, the passage of time, the fading away of flesh. Another way to say it is that I wanted the paintings to have a look of timelessness. Again, I did not really consciously decide this but it just seemed to evolve naturally out of what I was doing. There was actually a time when I told myself that “painting is flesh,” meaning that we put onto a canvas is kind of skin. I do have a sense that, no matter what the image, the painting is a fleshy thing, skin of our skin, if you will, and it comes out of the rhythm and blood of our bodies. But these were ideas that came slowly, haltingly, out of the actual process of work. They may only be useful to me because of the way they are connected to my process of work.

Catholic Marriage

Catholic Marriage, 1995
Oil on canvas
30 x 40 inches

Side Glance

Side Glance, 2001
Oil on canvas
24 x 24 inches

The Storm

The Storm, 1999
Oil on canvas
30 x 30 inches

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