There is a stillness in my work. It is the way you feel when time seems to stop – at birth, death, and if you’re lucky during some awestruck holy moment in your life. Paradoxically, it is also the way you feel when time is racing by – clouds casting complex shadows on a creek, the changing sky at dusk. I’m holding that note in my paintings. The content of my work is about the transitory nature of images, indeed of life. The light is moving, and in a breath it will be gone. I paint to catch that moment, the moment before the light goes. That moment is more real to me than the arbitrary constructs of time and space that allow for it. Like every blade of grass I’m painting as I swipe a shade of butter across a field, that moment is energy; it’s vibration – and the veil is thin.
My need for openness and spaciousness, both externally and internally, drives me to seek and create natural images that pull the viewer in with strong diagonals and mossy footpaths hidden in deep values. There is no clear destination here. You will not end up at the little red barn. There is mystery and permission to wander. The narrative, if any, is ethereal. It’s as if at any moment something might come up out of the water jarring the serene reflection. That subtle supernatural quality touches all of my work. There is a presence and a vastness. I don’t want to dictate the presence. I just want to invite it. The invitation sometimes starts with a respectful disregard for the classic tradition of atmospheric perspective. The juxtaposition of a loose painterly foreground – often pushed to abstraction – and a tighter, focused background or middle ground contribute to a slightly off kilter feeling. The viewer is just a little uncomfortable in this soothing space, and being out of the comfort zone forces one to pay attention. Like a mental float tank the experience is one of relaxed alertness. In that dichotomy – the beautiful and the edgy – is the presence I beckon.