My influences start with Modern Art. Impressionism and after. Expressionism and film noir. Social Realism. The masters of the horror and absurdity of the 20th century; Picasso and Bacon. The spiritual isolation of Hooper and Van Gogh. Jazz, for it’s moods without words; melodies and improvisations. The blues for the ecstasy of expressing the pain of existence in and often indifferent world that just keeps going on.
I paint what I see, feel, or imagine. Often trying to combine all options. There are often a series of contradictory impulses leading to an indefinite conclusion rather than an ideal or vision which is frustrating out of reach. I like to use heightened impressions of ordinary surroundings finding atmosphere and mood in the commonplace. My paintings are places or events I choose to dwell in for a while. I often use bad digital photos as a reference or map that helps me get to that place. I work mostly in acrylics, either on canvas or hardboard. When I want to get “physical” with a painting, have my strokes and scrapings and marks add to the texture of the image or build thick areas of paint I like to use hardboard.
I’ve been told my paintings are very emotional which to some doesn’t seem to concur with my usual persona. Well, it’s all got to come out somewhere; that is the stuff that can’t be expressed in social situations or daily life. The canvas then becomes my playground and my stage. I do it for myself so I know what I want to express is registered. I do it to hopefully reach others. to show them something. An adventure in search of meaning. Painting is a creation and record of the discourse between what’s going on inside of me with what’s going on outside of me. Aside from the emotional engagement the pleasure of the aesthetics, the way colors look next to each other, the grace of line, the expressiveness of a brushstroke keep me painting.
My current paintings involve a lot of night scenes. On my long drives home at night going up Route 1, U gradually decompress from the workday frustrations and pressures, letting go, feeling them dissolve into the colors of night. The neon lights against the dark streets, the penumbra of the traffic lights, the darkened geometries and odd shadows from the artificial light on the closed strip mall buildings I pass. The reflections on a wet night. The roadscape becomes a world with another dimension; boundaries dissolving between the real and the abstract, the sold and the suggested. I try and put some of that magic in my paintings. Atmosphere, mystery, mood, possibility.