About the artist:
I was born in New York City in 1950, and raised on Long Island. In 1974 I received a degree in architecture from Ohio University. For many years I practiced architecture as well as painted before I was able to devote all of my energy towards painting. I feel very grateful that painting continues to fascinate me and provides new ways to stretch and grow. It has been a constant companion and certainly my major mode of expression throughout the years. Years ago I chose to focus on landscapes because I have always felt a tremendous affinity toward them. As a child, growing up in New York I was always trying to escape to a park. There among trees and grass I could be alone and feel myself relax and breathe more fully. As I grow older, I came to understand this affinity as a spiritual one. To me color is the highest and most subjective element of painting, but the real subject matter of my work is its emotional content. I try and locate an intense feeling about something, whether it is the physical dynamics of a particular location or the juxtaposition of colors or the light. Then I explore it further on canvas and journey with it, trying to understand more fully what the feeling is about, in a formal context. That is when the painting really starts. My painting is not about the formal elements of which it is comprised, nor the subject mafter of the landscape, but about something more spiritual. A successfully executed painting must reach further-beyond the abstract or representational-into an intimate spirituality brought about by an individual way of seeing things. In that unique expression is something that relates to the "human experience," despite the passage of time. it is why we can look at a hundred-year-old painting and say"yes, I know this". This has nothing to do with trends or commercialism and everylhing to do with art. As for the process and relationship between artist and painting I am often reminded of what Elmer Bischoff said. "You have to bring off a fusion of your interest both in the subject and in the painting. Its like walking on a tightrope ... the paint on canvas plays a double role-one of an alive, sensual thing in itself, and the other conveying a response to the subject. Between the two is the tightrope.' I like the fact that I need to feel that tension. I feed information onto the canvas until a dialogue begins. Listening becomes paramount, because then I can discover what the painting needs in order for it to blossom. Another balance and tension I seek is between the landscape imagery and my emotions. That kind of tension and edge keeps me coming back to paint again and again. The biggest shift I have felt lately in my work has been one of orientation. I have come to understand this in two ways. First, that I am not apart from nature as I express its essence or spirit through my interpretation of a particular landscape. Instead, I feel that I am part of nature-seeking to express myself more clearly and openly. Somehow this seemingly simple realization opens me up to the painting because it is more emotional and less analytical. Second, instead of looking at a particular "scene", I see the landscape as made up of elements. I manipulate them so that the components of landscape become my vehicle for expression. This realization frees me up to get closer, to open up more to the painting. In a sense it even gets the landscape out of the way of expression, while retaining its essence. At times it seems as though l'm attributing human characteristics to landscape elements. All of this is toward the end of expressing my feelings about something in my present life. This new articulation has given me greater force and freedom in my work, Whether l'm working on a large canvas that at times seems to approach color field painting or a small oil on wood panel, the content remains the same. This is the latest part of the journey I feel myself embarking upon.
I was born in New York City in 1950, and raised on Long Island. In 1974 I received a degree in architecture from Ohio University. For many years I practiced architecture as well as painted before I was able to devote all of my energy towards