Interview with the artist . . .
What’s your philosophy behind the artwork?
It’s always been about encouraging people to look. And that started with me. I needed to encourage myself to look more closely at things.
What I discovered at a really advanced age was that a world opened up when I simply looked closer at all kinds of things, including landscapes, flowers, people and simple household scenes.
Were you not looking before?
In a way, yes. My entire career – in technology marketing – was about grabbing an audience’s attention in a very manic, rapid way. I was part of the problem as both a producer of information and a consumer of it.
Our technology and all our gadgets point to this. We get instant answers as well as instantly deceptive answers. Illusions, I guess.
It’s strange. We can monitor invisible things like heart rate variability really easily. We can take macro photos with an iPhone and see things really closely.
But we often cheapen the experience that way. We objectify the heart and reduce it to data. We capture Godlike images then scroll past them in a mad rush to get somewhere else.
What’s your creative process like?
My approach and my process are to simply slow down and look. My paintings may just be reminders to stop and reset. To look at where you are now.
It’s as simple as that.
The technology is old and deliberate. Canvas, wood panels, oil paints and pigments. It’s like beating a drum to find a song.
The process is first to see. See the interest, see the color, see the possibility. What’s novel and interesting about the subject and the composition?
Then more complicated considerations come in. Is this universal? Can most people understand the significance? Is there a story the eyes follow? Where is God in the image? Where is the light, the dazzle and the enthusiasm? Where does the heart flutter?
I also think about what a piece can do to a room. Can it transport someone out of that room? Where will it take them?
With these questions in progress, I paint. Darks to sketch and structure. Background palette, if necessary. Big brushes. What’s going to dry first and at what rate?
I also like to think about which mistakes in the painting can be converted to opportunities.