When I begin a painting, whether it's on a blank canvas or one covered with old newspapers picked up in my travels, rice paper, pieces of paper bags or thick splashes of paint, I have only a germ of an idea. That idea can come from something I've seen...somewhere I've been...a feeling or just a thought. While my work is primarily abstract, a subject or story begins to reveal itself to me while I'm working. Often it is the "idea" that I started with, but just as often the painting goes in a whole different direction. Now the real fun begins! The painting is waiting for me to discover it.
I attack the canvas, and together the painting and I begin to "work it out." I'm interested in the hidden world beneath the surface - in layers of texture and color. So I begin to dig and shape... to push and pull...to sometimes tearing the painting apart and reassemble it with other elements...old paintings, more paper, torn photographs, discarded bits from my wastebasket...whatever I feel it takes to create the finished painting.
I scribble imaginary shapes. I create a private alphabet. I apply paint and scratch it away with my fingernails or an old brush or alcohol. The whole process is very exciting - full of energy and emotion and yet the principals of design are there fighting to be considered. In the end I have a painting that was begun in an emotional and intuitive state, tamed and controlled by the basic elements of organization and composition that invokes a secret world...a provocative world...a rich and sensual world to get lost and found in.