After a one-week trip to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico in the summer of 2018 I was inspired by the beauty of the natural landscape. Simply being in a place which held so many visual surprises and revelations pushed me out of the box of being a non-objective painter for at least at little while. It still sounds strange to say I paint flowers. The reality is that it is only in flowers that I find the formal color, form and textural relationships that I've strived to achieve in my abstract paintings and feel have come up short in some ways. I don't have to generate ideas with flowers, I have to constrain the flow of ideas to make them manageable. The challenge is to simplify and translate to make compositions coherent. These paintings have flowers as a subject, but I bring a long history of being an abstract painter to the project and am attempting to walk a thin line between abstraction and representational artwork.
Mixing the Formal and Personal in Non-objective Paintings
I've created abstract paintings for many years and there have been several stylistic approaches during that time. The inspiration for my most recent series of geometric paintings came from aerial views of landscapes. The rectangular geometry of the roads in towns and the giant circles of rural fields contrasting the movement of rivers and winding country road struck me as meaningful. To me it all reflects the interplay of human invention, construction, and destruction. My first efforts for this body of work expanded from photos I took out of the windows of airplanes.
My media are acrylic paint on canvas, reduction woodblock printmaking, monoprinting and silkscreen. My imagery is initiated on Adobe Photoshop and developed from there. Digital artwork allows many versions of an idea to exist and be available at any time in the future. Ideas can be developed then remain with other compositions for further resolution. My laptop now serves as my sketchbook. After the initial phase of work on the computer, compositions continue to develop, especially with decisions about color, surface texture, tonal gradations and other formal considerations.
Imagery for all my work is abstract, however is not inspired only by basic geometric shapes. I also imply the human form, animal and plant shapes and landscape. Different pieces suggest humor, chaos, peacefulness and playfulness. The titles are my own perception of what the piece suggests and reflect only my own personal reading. Titles come after the work is completed.