These PAINTINGS begin with my astonishment at the beauty of natural fact.
I work from close observation of objects, in strong daylight, at their actual size. Each object enters the painting when I find it, often as a surprising emblem of raw nature discovered in the context of urban human life. At other times I bring objects back to the city studio from forays in woods or beach. The state of stable preservation, changeability, or fragility of the forms being painted determines the pace of painting. It is generally a slow process.
The compositional unity of these disparate forms takes place gradually, in the course of the painting. Grand forces of gravity, motion, gesture, color and light play out at my will on this intimate scale. An underlying theme of memory, and also an uncanny strangeness, become manifest without any conscious, preconceived plan. The result is unexpected, coming from this rigorous process of finding, seeing, recording and transforming reality.
WORKS ON PAPER
These works, in various mediums, are representations of plants and other objects. This creates an ongoing record of my experiences living as close as I can to nature, in New York, Maine, and New Orleans.
"Drawing With Plants" : incorporates dried organic material collaged over digital prints made from direct, altered, scans of plants.
In “Wave Hill/ 2016” I continue to combine found, scanned, printed images, with actual, collaged, organic materials. This is a series made during a residency in 2016 , using plants collected there or in NYC parks.
Each collage in the series "Earth / Distant and Very Close / 2017" begins with a digital print I made from scanning an altered NASA image of Earth from space. The paper print is attached to a rigid support and is then collaged with organic material collected from wherever I am living - on the very up-close Earth.
All of these works engage with concepts of reality, in different ways.
Spore Prints 2003/2013 shows work from the beginning of my deep engagement with the world of Fungi, when I began to integrate mushroom hunting into my practice of art. Mushrooms can be coaxed into dropping their spores onto a surface, which can be painted or otherwise altered, before or after. I think of them as partners in making the work. This feels like a blessed privilege.
In these ASSEMBLAGES, objects similar to many of the players in my Paintings and Works On Paper are gathered, in their full 3-dimensionality, and layered in relief-like assemblages.
They originated, around 1994, with using some of the peels, bones, seeds , shells, from the kitchen, so at first I called them "Composts". Eventually I added materials from scavenging. Some pieces were worked on and changed over a period of many years. More recently, color and human narrative enter. Dried, and composed, the detritus seems to take on a kind of beauty, as does the whole deep, ever-lastingly relevant spirit of composting.
The elements of my work, over decades, and in differing mediums, now clearly reveal inter-connection in forms that echo the phenomenon of transformation, in which all existence takes part.