Statement of the Artist
These landscapes are based not just on versions of my own visions of the
landscapes themselves, but also from sensibilities of the subconscious dimension,
whether that be playful, brooding, sensuous, mysterious, nostalgic, romantic,
humorous, etc.; whatever excites me according to the particular piece. Whereupon
I "build" the paint onto the canvas with the compulsion to create in ways that
are often evoking childlike sensibilities and my own imaginative urges and expand
out from the surface quite literally with the aid of cake decorator, brushes,
hands, and other tools; I am obsessed with the pure physicality of the paint and
the process. Therein lies the mystery for me; and I suppose a rather Taoist
philosophy in regards to art, nature, and life.
When I look at a finished work, what I enjoy the most is the abstraction of the
paint and the process of the painting; with all of its qualities, surprises, and
possibilities that capacitate an image from a vision that I have had and felt the
compulsion to produce.
The paintings are often autobiographical (especially the earlier works) in that
they reflect my upbringing in the small salt-mining town of Grand Saline, Texas,
and the deep east Texas farmlands around Rusk where I spent a good portion of my
youth in an 1860's farmhouse owned by my grandmother. Cresting waters, twinkling
stars, perched herons, cows in a pasture, or trees that form an irregular pattern
work to lead the viewer back and forth toward the horizon. The vantage point is
often like that of a low flying bird. I like to recognize that nature with all
of its incongruities is like life. Trees often resemble human figures and
cornstalks dancers. Broken stumps become like arteries or veins and express
pain, struggle, and lifes tribulations. Expressive patterns, as well as the
imagery, suggest the cycles of decay and rebirth which repeat themselves
constantly in nature. The demise of the small American farm is something that I
feel deeply sorrowful about, and some of the work is depictive of this. Exposure
to this wonderful but often difficult way of life was something I was fortunate
to experience in my youth.
Much of the imagery chosen is a result or reaction to my own careful studies and
education in the history of art and landscape painting. Often as a rebellion,
even in the way I choose to apply the paint. But also, of course inspired by the
great legacy of those many past works that I admire. Much of the work is painted
intuitively, which gives rise to the idea of expresionism in the work.
The exact locations or sites recreated are less important than the character of
the imagery I choose. It is the psychological or emotional impact carried by
these images that becomes important. Scrambling the 3-D surface with the 2-D
surface treatment is something that I like to do. The paint may rise as thick
as five inches out from the canvas, or be so thin that the canvas shows through.