Motivated to explore nature within and without, my work often originates with a dream image. I engage with dreams to make unconscious images, myths, and wisdom, conscious, on the personal and collective levels - to raise consciousness, most recently, on environmental issues. To develop imagery into concepts, I research, read literature and current news, and employ mathematics and color theory. Critical to my practice is to feel deeply and labor physically with, not just think about, each concept. I consider each piece finished when the composition feels closest to being integrated, albeit never fully. Hence, imperfect symmetry prevails, and I work almost exclusively on an x-y axis.
The dissociation between human activity and natural processes is creating a physical climate imbalance. I advocate for human community and industry that functions more like a forest ecosystem where nothing is waste, diversity is strength, everything regenerates, and carbon is accounted for.
Phase 1: Ideation
I approach a canvas when ideas and imagery integrate in new ways. I practice patience and "blankness," clearing the mind (beginner's mindset) to allow the ideas to congeal into concepts (the premise behind the abstraction).
Phase 2: Composition
When I understand enough about what I want to say (concept(s)), I work on how I will say it (form(s)) by imagining myself in the specific environment I want to create with the painting. I then sketch on paper to experiment with what forms and arrangements might yield the right atmosphere to evoke the concept.
Phase 3: Build & Draw
With a ruler and pen or pencil, I draw the canvas's structure/grid. I always start with the center point of the canvas, to mark an x-y axis. I arrange the forms on the axis, erasing, changing, and restarting frequently.
Phase 4: Color Study
A color study helps determine what combinations might yield the right conceptual effect. To choose the right paints, I arrange the colors according to a mathematical system to create the right mix, which inevitably changes, but the color study gives enough theory to start painting and a framework to hold the work's evolution.
Phase 5: Background
I paint many layers of colors for the background. While painting, I try to witness consciousness - "I" am not one thought or impulse or identity, but all of them in totality. Painting the background is an opportunity to observe my thoughts, memories, and narratives (my own background).
Phase 6: Foreground
Painting the foreground requires continuous improvement, aborted roads, and slow iteration to refine the concepts into final forms, logic, patterns, parables, and equations. In this phase, I paint at the easel, or lay the canvas on a table to draw and paint the detail, or even hold the canvas to instill a close relationship.