For drawing: Drawing and sketching are foundational for all my art. I draw for the challenge of actually seeing and to hone hand-eye coordination. The challenge of drawing is to pursue a convincing facsimile of the physical essence of a thing, place, or person. Sketching is to get a pictorial idea of the essence of some notion. The hand-eye coordination is the manifestation of such seeing. I also draw to explore composition possibilities and to understand tonal values I might want to use in a particular work.
For oil painting: Oil painting for me is the practice of balancing intent with spontaneity. Intent can be an experiment in composition, an exploration of color relationships, or the use of brush strokes as an implication of mood. However, I try not to allow an intent to overwhelm the canvas. Thus, outside of a general idea of the intent, I want the situation I find myself in at any moment to inform the work—to inform me. I often gravitate toward the literal and get sucked into objectivity at the expense of awareness of my surroundings and spontaneity with my brush. I forget that the finished painting is not so important as my understanding of what I am experiencing as I create. Again, it is balancing intent with spontaneity. See Gallery for available oil paintings.
For watercolor: Before starting most watercolor paintings, I make a plan or strategy of four or five steps, like one would in playing chess. My opponent is the group of watercolor variables (paper texture, wetness, transparency and viscosity of pigment, brushes and tools used, etc.). We take turns in our moves. Watercolor is very willful, and I am dependent on coincidences in the painting process before I know what my next move will be. Consequently, the outcome is completely unpredictable. Sometimes I win and sometimes the process does me in. However, after each game, I am ultimately the winner as I learn something each time. Here again, as in most oil painting, understanding what I am experiencing as I create is important to me. See Gallery for available watercolors.
Writing a single artist statement does not make sense for me. What does make sense is giving the reader an overview of my thinking on mark making as I engage in the three media I enjoy most.