“What am I looking at?” This is a question I ask myself often as I make art. I’m told that it is also asked by others when they see my artwork. I work digitally using a pressure sensitive stylus as my paint brushes and a bit pad for my canvas surface. The resulting images are printed by inkjet on canvas with pigment ink. I don’t print editions. Each image is unique. I combine my traditional drawing and painting skills, interest in photographs, and experience with digital media. I photograph my subject then transfer it to my computer where I scale it to the actual size it will be printed. The software allows me to make, for example a one-inch wide paint stroke which will produce a one-inch wide stroke in the final print. I think of the image on the screen as a virtually wet oil painting with all the creative potential that implies. I develop the painting by making layers of virtual oil paint brush and palette knife strokes. Photography and painting merge in a way not possible before digital technology. I find this very exciting. I can add and remove areas. If I have a new variation I would like to try, I save the current version, clone it, and continue developing a new variation without destroying the previous work. This is only one of many advantages of working digitally which I have been exploring for over 17 years. The final image has the visceral qualities of oil paint and the verisimilitude of a photograph.
My works aren’t intended as illustrations or symbols to support or enhance conclusive verbal concepts, stories or messages. I am not particularly interested in the possible verbal aspects of my work. That is why the titles are chosen only to identify the artwork rather than explain or enhance it. Working as a graphic designer and illustrator, I made a living using my artistic skills to visually support the verbal communications of clients. It was an experience which left me with many questions about the relationship between visual and verbal communications. I think of my work as visual experiences which cannot be expressed through text or speech. I think I arrived at this position partially because of my long interest in Eastern philosophies, their ideas about dualistic thinking and koans.
Usually my subject is inspired by something that I’ve seen in my everyday surroundings. It strikes me as a place where something might have existed or will exist. Sometimes the direction I take in a new work is influenced by visual documents of the past, which is what all photographs are. At the same time, it can look like a proposal for the future, which is what paintings can do — make the invisible, visible.
Digital technology allows me to experiment and innovate in ways not possible with traditional art mediums. I get satisfaction from making my visual ideas concrete by exploring a new process that results in a positive unforeseen outcome. I feel that I am working in the twenty-first century. Making art digitally gives me a new structure and path for empirical discoveries. It’s much more gratifying than working within a set of established concepts and mediums that contribute to an existing artistic canon. I am working in the vague border between speculation and reality — between the virtual and the actual. I find that intriguing.
”Don't let words put limitations on the possibilities of life."
“I am trying to make something I don’t understand.”