Architecture, as a significant art form intensive in its use of resources, demands a rigor and discipline of collective effort to be properly planned and implemented. My work as an architect has informed my ongoing work as an artist, which is centered around three primary concerns: ideation, process and materiality.
The ideation that drives the development of initial concepts emerges from three fundamental aspects of consciousness; perception, memory and imagination. My creative process is an evolving dialog between the external, which comes from perception, and internal, arising from memory and imagination. Briefly:
1. Perception: The results of immediate experience that can be literally drawn from life. John Ruskin, (1858), declares that ‘Artists must first be viewers’, and Anthony Santella (2005), notes that ‘artists control the amount of detail in the images they create . . . want(ing) the appearance of reality which has been organized and structured to make its meaning clearer, if necessarily more limited than the infinite complexity of reality.’ As an observer and recorder of the observed, the artist acts as a filter between observed reality and the work that results in the art object.
2. Memory: Engaging in work that emerges from the recollection of significant events in the artist’s life. It is an internalized vision which can be more fundamental or essential than perception, by the process of distilling the detail retained by the mind to that which is most salient.
3. Imagination: Employing various techniques which remove the artist from memory and perception, including automatism, collaboration, material processes, or any of a number of techniques that move one beyond routine experience and memory.
My art is deeply rooted in process. This process is iterative, exhibiting discipline and diligence in pursuing a motif or idea. Often this work pursues formal ideals of composition, color, form, and texture rather than illusionistic representations. My outlook is forward-looking and experimental, evidencing a belief that the art object is a palimpsest resulting from the work of creation. Each act of creation necessarily results in new paradigms for subsequent efforts of creation leading to a continuum of nascence; a continual emerging and evolving.
This work conveys an expression of internal energies. Fundamental to this thinking is the distinction between the art work and the art object, as Albert Camus wrote, “It is not your paintings I like, it is your painting.” As a result of this focus on process, my art captures the essence of particular moments, imbibed with immediacy, serving as a record of temporal experience and process. Elbert Hubbard goes further to elaborate, “Art is not a thing; it is a way.” Some artists use means of machination in producing their art, utilizing machines, outsourcing, etc., which has a tendency to remove the evidence of intimate personal process. This removal of evidence is an integral characteristic of architecture, which demands the intervention and collaboration of many to create the whole. My art demands the opposite: evidence of personal process, an unfiltered collaboration between artist and materials.
The pursuit of personal means of expression relies on an imperative of exploration, which by extension demands experimentation. This is why I execute the same motif across a variety of media – divergent results arise from using different media . Unique characteristics possessed by each medium contain a latent potential to reveal new opportunities for subsequent exploration. I use oil, acrylic, tempera/gouache, watercolor, encaustic, etc. on various surfaces; paper, canvas, board, wood, etc. Techniques include original works as well as monoprint, serigraph, stenciling, block cut lithographs, etc. In my work it is necessary to try multiple iterations of compositions exploring variations through different media as a means of pursuing alternate, and perhaps more ideal results. Through this process of experimentation I’m discovering new ways to explore new ideas.
Each compositional idea that I explore expands a growing understanding of inherent possibilities that might be contained in future compositions. The evolving nature of this vision and heuristic use of many types of media should not be confused with lacking focus; as I’ve been quoted in the past, ‘I’m not portraying the world, I’m creating one.’