Some Thoughts On My Art:
My main artistic concern is with the surface appearance of reality. And, for the most part, I am a Realist----I believe everything is contextually dependent. That is to say, everything is determined by its environment (context). I try to suggest my philosophical bent in my artwork. I do that, in part, through my matter of fact painting style, but mainly, I express it through my emphasis on the composition as a whole: No single object is allowed to dominate the paintings; instead the placement and spatial relationship between them is given precedence: That is true, regardless of whether the subject matter is a landscape/cityscape or a still life.
All of my paintings are carefully staged; a certain amount of thought goes into deciding which elements should be included in my compositions, and where they should be placed in relation to each other. Yet, I intentionally avoid making them look that way. Instead, I try to convey a certain arbitrary, non-idealistic quality. I also juxtapose items that are not necessarily related as a comment on life's randomness. (Regardless of one's best efforts, the ability to fully control circumstances is always beyond reach!)
The main challenge for a representational painter is to translate the three-dimensional world onto a two-dimensional surface. The way I approach that problem is by emphasizing spatial relationships----regardless of whether the subject is a landscape, still life or figure. The relation of form to form is what gives a painting structure. And, that in turn, provides the context for the subject matter: The forms do not exist independently, only in the context of their relationship to other forms. The result is paintings that have been deliberately constructed, creating a powerful sense of the physical world.
Above: Cosmos & Strawberries, 2018, 14 x 14 inches, oil on canvas. (c) 2018. Below: Jefferson Market Library, 2021, 18" x 24," acrylic on canvas. (c) 2021.
While my primary objective is to create a dynamic composition that is visually arresting, the addition of narrative elements can make for a more interesting, multi-layered work of art. It is with that in mind, that I choose my subject matter. I realize that might strike some people as unnecessarily gimmicky; but since it is impossible to altogether avoid the possibility of narrative interpretation when art is representational, I want to be mindful of that: After all, even things as commonplace as trees come laden with cultural significance.
Above all, it is my hope that my paintings have an impact on the way the viewer perceives physical phenomena, because art is a re-imagining of physical reality. Therefore, the success of any painting can be measured by the extent to which it influences the viewer's perceptions of reality.
Summer Evening, 2019, 16 x 20 inches, acrylic on canvas. (c) 2019.