About how I paint.
My paintings are extensions of my feelings.
In the beginning, I often struggled to control my emotions.
Now though, I let it all go, and art just happens.
Not everyone understands how I see the world, or my interpretation of art, and that’s fine. When the stars do align and my abstractions wash over and suspend you for that very brief moment– that’s what makes me feel connected.
I push and pull toward and away from bold and harmonious color and patiently search for those elusive and obscure rhythms jangled amidst rolling waves of twilight indigo and butter cinnamon. When I look at colour, my senses explode and I often hear what Goethe describes as a cacophony of orchestral sound – a union of the senses. We’re all born with synesthesia, but most lose it over time. I am lucky in that sense, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. Maybe I don’t really want to know. Some meditations and art incantations are best left a mystery.
Since childhood, I’ve had an affinity for nature and the arts, and never saw the two as separate. I suppose it’s partially why I’m a non-representational painter even though I don’t feel like I specifically sought out that title or space. It feels more like standing close enough to be drawn in and along, all the while pushing softly back against convention. It’s not to say I don’t want to be influenced or even impacted by others, but it’s critically important for me to cultivate and nurture my own artistic vision without feeling overwhelmed or pushed in another direction.
As you might imagine, it’s a wispy translucent space to create within and takes considerable discipline to not float in, out, and away. I discovered long ago that to be a truly great artist you need to be fully committed and immersed in that atmosphere. If not, you’re just like everyone else waiting for something to happen. It’s a collective, ethereal dynamic, and one I’ve juxtaposed and woven throughout my relationships with family, friends, and art. On the romantic side, I think abstract expression saw me at the same time as I saw it. From the very beginning we fell against each other, and since that first blush clung like secret lovers.
The more places I visit around the world, and the more cultures I immerse myself in and friends I make, the more holistic and refined my style and vision becomes. I’ve always been introspective and intuitive; thoroughly charmed by continuous learning. My reverence for meditative spirituality and how it nurtures and heals is also a catalyst for my art. I layer community into my abstract paintings through gracious bows to our elders for their wisdom and knowledge, and to the very young for their fresh spirit. We flourish when we are loved and cared for, and if there were a gift I could bestow upon every child, it would be self-worth.
As it is with every artist, my creative process is unique. We each develop and evolve different styles over time, and at some point, the act of creation slips quite far from being a conscious act to a place of meditative intuition.
We all want to know the future. The artistic process I adopted teaches and entices me to be mindful and to look beyond the ordinary. Some of my ideas take months, even years to surface within my consciousness, and even though I see them in my mind’s eye, it is never in continuity or their entirety, nor do I ever get to stare. It’s mostly fleeting glimpses handed off to my artistic ego with a tentative promise to fill in the spaces … or not. Impressions build slowly for me on a mostly hidden continuum, and quite often, in what seems like a chaotic spontaneous flurry, explode onto my canvass. I often look up at the end of a painting session and can’t recall exactly how I got there. It’s like turning off your car in your driveway only to realize you can’t remember how you safely maneuvered through busy streets to get home.
I rarely stop until my energy is completely spent, and if I feel I haven’t left something intrinsic and deeply personal in a painting, I fall back into the canvass and dream a little while longer.
Some self-described “artists” soothe themselves into thinking they create only for themselves, but I think many simply lack the courage to admit they are lost and don’t know where they want to land. Most of us paint as a form of communicative expression, and we want someone to understand our vision, even if it is just one person.
It is true that as artists we often create in a vacuum, and it can be painfully lonely, but if no one sees our work, what’s the point? Self-flagellation is second cousin to playing it small, and a waste of life. I want my audience to feel my spontaneity, and be inspired to push themselves further as I do.
I want my art to make a difference, whether it’s hanging in a private and quiet part of your home, a corporate boardroom, or a bustling public lobby. I want you to look at my work and have it cultivate and inspire your own vision, be it orderly, chaotic, or otherwise. You decide.
The worst thing we can do is do nothing.