I feel motivated to paint, inwardly, and my work often originates with a dream image. I engage with dreams to make unconscious habits, myths, stories, and wisdom, conscious, on the personal and collective levels. To develop the imagery into concepts, I utilize research, literature, current news, mathematics, and color theory. Critical to my practice is creating the right conditions to feel deeply, not just think about, the concepts driving the work. The subject I explore most is the climate crisis because of a personal love for the natural world, and grief for its degradation. Each piece is 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.
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.