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 seemingly chaotic aspect. (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 pick my subject matter with that in mind: Even things as commonplace as fruit trees come laden with cultural significance. And, I want to control the narrative!
It is my hope that my paintings have an impact on the way the viewer perceives physical phenomena. Painting is a re-imagining of physical reality after all; therefore, the success of any work of art 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.