Rather than the result of a linear process wherein I conceive of an idea and use painting to “explore” or depict a pre-determined concept, my work is an intuitive expression of multiple ongoing influences and experiences. Some of these factors are apparent to me while others remain undefinable.
When I took up studio space near the railroad tracks and 1920’s-era depot, I was reminded of a gift— an old railroad bolt— that I had long since thrown away. I foraged the periphery of the tracks, gathered a collection of discarded railroad spikes and arranged haphazard piles of them in the studio. These piles prompted me to resurrect a handful of antique nails, which I had salvaged some years previous from a friends’ home I helped demolish. At that time, I had photographed the nails as a high-contrast, “spidery nest.”
The early paintings began as, more or less, objective images- reminiscent of that tight, cluttered bundle in the initial photograph. I created images of the nails and spikes over and again— in charcoal, graphite, mixed media on paper and in larger format, oil paint on canvas.
The piles appeared as monumental as landscapes.
These instruments— that once bound together structures— are now twisted, bent, rusted and used. But, I am not attempting to make something beautiful out of refuse, nor do I wish to illustrate the items themselves, nor any particular attribute such as rust. While the paintings are derived from the objects, they are not of the objects.
My work could be most closely aligned with the expressionist movement. While I do not use items symbolically, it’s important to recognize that inspiration for my imagery is rooted in the material, sensual world. At the same time, traits such as my coloring and mark making cannot be extricated from an internal, subconscious sensibility, which may be given equal time in the final painting. I use the corporeal world as a springboard, but while painting, I trust my gut instinct.