Thursday, February 7, 2013

Artist Statement

The act of painting—the approach to the process—is about being present and my approach to painting is a mindful act.  Eckhart Toile’s book, “The Power of Now”, influences my approach to the process of painting. Tohle is a constant reminder that being present with oneself is the only true reality; and is my way of getting into that frame of mind I left behind during play in childhood.
I grew up playing in the wooded areas of Northern Virginia near a stream called Difficult Run.  My formative years were spent building tree forts and rubber tire rafts alongside this stream bed.  Today I still live close by the stream where I find and collect the natural forms for my work called “Earth Objects”.

“Earth Objects” are small pods, acorns, and leaves etc… that I collect during walks on the W & O foot trail.  I refer to myself as an “Image Archaeologist™.  And my personal iconography is based on the discovery of objects in nature in their native environment.  After finding an object, I take it home and digitize it with my camera.   I then manipulate the photo in a software program called Photoshop to uncover the objects underlying structure. The uncovering process is really a series of filters that I use in Photoshop to remove the objects “outer skin” and reveal its “skeleton”.  Once I feel I have the “skeleton”, I can then take the image to canvas.

I staple wet gessoed canvas onto my studio wall and project the image onto the canvas.  I then carve into the wet gessoed canvas with the butt of a paintbrush an imprint of the “image skeleton”.  I scrub into the surface ground with multiple layers of paint and rub paint into the grooves of the dried gesso surface.  Additional layers of paint are then brushed lightly over the beveled edges of the image to unearth the skeletal impression. More layers of paint are brushed on and wiped away as the image becomes the surface ground and the surface ground becomes the image. It is this process of digging into the canvas and discovering the object within the corporeal ground that makes it “Image Archaeology” ™. 
There is a constant searching for the middle ground—the space between the figure and the ground—through the application of paint and projected thoughts.  What remains behind or merges into existence is this exchange of energy between me and the picture plane that culminates into a work of art.
Currently my process is becoming time based.  I am developing time based videos of the studio process and the new work in progress.

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