For over 30 years I have been using oil stick, pastel, chalk and pencil on paper.
Looking back, I realize I have tended towards working thematically, focusing on one particular theme at a time and building a series around it.
In the Spring of 2010, while on a three-month residency in Montana, I created a new body of work called “The Basin” series. In response to each piece, one of eight Oregon poets wrote a poem. In the past two years, “Original Weather”, as an exhibition of poems and drawings from the ”The Basin” series, has been displayed in seven locations in Oregon, Washington and Montana.
In 2011 I moved to Portland and co-founded a group of writers and artists called “13 Hats”. We dedicated ourselves to working collaboratively on a number of visual and literary projects. As part of this endeavor, I collaborated with poet and publisher Standard Schaefer. I created a new series of m/m drawings on paper called, “The Continents”, inspired by the maps drawn in the 1850’s by Mathew Fontaine Maury, the first person to document the wind and wave patterns of the oceans. Standard wrote an elaborate and layered text to complement the drawings. Together, the exhibit is called "Apparent Continent".
In addition to my m/m work on paper, I also work in the darkroom, creating one-of-a-kind silver gelatin prints/collages. I work thematically in this area, too.
While my love of drawing is the mainstay of all my work, during the last two years, language has become an important component. My life-long engagement with poetry has inspired me to marry text within the visual aspects of my work, which has expanded the possibilities of how I work and what materials I use. "Melody", "Take Cover" and "Campfires" are all new pieces that exemplify this new direction.
Re: Making Art
An artist once said that he spent his whole life making one painting. The core truth of this statement is that making art is a personal journey of self-expression and, as such, the artist must find the right tools for image making and develop an affection for the working process that fosters an intuitive-based engagement -- one that frees the artist from thinking.
Art making is self-revelatory... a process, much like math, of adding and subtracting but, unlike solving a math problem, not seeking one right answer. There is no understanding of a work of art. A successful work of art is a mysterious unfolding, transcendental but never complete. We strive for perfection but never obtain it. It is the process of making the work that fully engages and fascinates us, demanding that we keep going, as if we knew what we were doing.
In order to grow as an artist, one must find the right questions, keep asking them and follow their necessary evolution. I’d like to share with you a series of questions, some of them mine, that I think are worthy of your consideration...
What does my studio practice examine?
What did I wonder about as a child? And now, as an adult, what fascinates me? How are the two similar? Different?
What excites me? What threatens me? When am I most uncomfortable?
What am I devoted to?
Is making art my means of examining and organizing the chaos that surrounds me?
Is the sum of the parts greater than the whole?
What is the relationship between technique and content?
What to make of the need to simplify, desire to complicate?
How does making art affirm an affection for life?