“know your spirits before entering strange orchards” – Ishmael Reed
Painting is a physical act taking on an object and making it a point of view. There’s as much nature in a song lyric you hear as a meme-like transfer of information as there is in a walk through a wooded landscape. Nothing separate. I find use in what ever I borrow from, whether it’s a mixed media image with burlap scraps and chicken wire or a slew of overhead conversations around a table, my work is informed from outside and built upon from layers. It’s not so much about creating an artwork from nothing at hand as it is to notice the various parts in play and then incorporate them into a reason for having material form. Ask often, what appeals to an elemental self? Sometimes a feeling hits from out of the blue and suddenly there’s a memory or a dream to work from. Sometimes intuition leads you around and you play detective searching for hidden structures, the way bones and skin can be more that just a face. And sometimes painting happens to be a chance accident waiting in a direction you did not see first off, in that having a pre-framed notion of an end result you might want is often the worst of possibilities to have. Painting for me is a way to pay attention to what’s humorous and what’s divine-like, and try and walk away from an over-emphasized notion of an important self, one with a total cultural weight placed on who did something rather than simply what was done.
It’s the paintings that matter, the ecology of making, not how we view ourselves within environments as conscious pronouns worried over being abandoned or finding happiness with being potentially useful. I start a painting and it takes a direction in the world and from there I follow with tools and color, tweaking connections and promoting impulse. In that course it’s good to feel the life and all the tendencies a painting can have. Be it a flower or a ghost, a painting appears in the kinds of natural occurrences that have stretched the repeated development of change from cave art suggestions to linked studios with fiber optic graphics. Paintings are thoughts.