538 S. Gilbert St., Iowa City, IA 52240

(319) 358-8488

2013-2015

2013-2015

Contains 24 Images

 

2011

2011

Contains 11 Images

 

2010

2010

Contains 13 Images

About Recent Oil and Watercolor Paintings

Over the last three decades I have been visiting and painting markets and gardens in Oaxaca in Southern Mexico. My preoccupation with these two subjects is, perhaps, because they seem to be such opposites of each other. On the one hand, the market is crowded and smelly, harsh, chaotic, and nerve-wracking. On the other, gardens are solitary and aromatic, and working for days alone in nature can be meditative and tranquilizing. Yet these two extremes share a multiplicity of forms, light, color --- formal elements that must be tackled and tamed to the ordered confines of the canvas or paper. These pursuits of finding the “architecture” of a place, market or landscape, are processes that interest me. That makes me a formalist, I must confess. But I am also subject to indulging myself in some subjective delights, those nagging inclinations and premonitions that are goaded from the inside by something working from the outside. A sense of threat or dread or euphoria or longing or sadness, prompted by these colors, those shapes, a quality of joy in the light, a whisper of death in the darkness.

The “scenic” is not interesting to me; the evocation of qualities beyond it are. An artist, of course, wishes to keep options open. Especially in the early stages of apprenticeship these directions must remain adaptable and inquisitive regarding the exact route that will be taken. And perhaps along the way the vehicles one employs and even the destination one seeks may change. I feel fortunate, growing older, to have settled upon certain goals for my paintings, ones that include preordained subjects and procedures. This has allowed me to articulate my objectives with some degree of clarity, to set out a plan and follow it without feeling any creative constraints on those options artists wish to keep open.

Garden Watercolors

The watercolors involve my going daily to a chosen site, first drawing and then painting the selected image at its locale, then returning to it on a daily schedule, spending four to five hours per sitting, until the painting is completed. This process usually takes ten days to two weeks. My practice involves meticulous dedication to verisimilitude, consistent throughout a work's entirety.

Market Oils

I develop my paintings slowly. First, I go to a market to make a series of photographs of subjects which interest me formally and conceptually. Next, from a large group of color transparencies, the chosen image is projected onto a canvas that has been prepared to fit that portion of the image I choose to study. I make a rather detailed drawing in pencil on the canvas, and for the next four or five weeks I proceed to translate aspects of the photographic image onto the canvas in oil paint.

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