Sunday, September 18, 2016

Step Right Up

Step Right Up   2016   oil on canvas   32" x 32"

The sink painting is a theme I anticipate returning to for the rest of my life. My favorite artists always seem to paint sinks, and I can’t walk past a slop sink without studying it for possible compositions. There is something compelling about the inherent potential energy of a sink - particularly a studio sink, where the residue of so many past paintings lays lost and forgotten among the dense pentimento.

I was gifted with a particularly crusty slop sink in the Manifest studio, and I appreciated it every time I washed my brushes. But it wasn’t until close to the end of last year's residency that I felt ready to paint it. I was lucky – my easel just fit in the bathroom. I had to disassemble it a bit to get it through the door each day... but it was worth it to be able to work from life – there are so many subtleties in the chrome and all that lovely residue. 

I was listening to a lot of Tom Waits at the time. The title was inevitable. 

Sunday, September 11, 2016


Threshold    2016    chalk pastel on paper   13x13"

This is one of my favorite recent drawings. This piece was a turning point in the series, both in color and mark-making  The dust that had accumulated on my studio floor helped obscure the hard edges between floorboards, and my experience of perception was one of shifting color fields rather than clearly defined space.

Each pastel in this series shares a horizon line - the imperfect boundary between wall and floor extends from one piece to the next in an unending line. When arranged side by side, they give the illusion of an unending vista: a continual loop following the path of the baseboard around the room.  

No matter what else I do, I always come back to the baseboard. This imperfect space between wall and floor is so ubiquitous as to be nearly always overlooked. Every interior space has that sliver where the wall meets the floor, but how often do you actually stop to consider it? My hope is that these fragments of space serve as a point of departure for meditation: on the imperfect boundaries of existence, on the neglected liminal moments that make up the majority of our days, on ambiguity, betweenness, and the constant search for clarity. The lack of corners makes the depicted space forever incomplete – ever outwardly expanding beyond our peripheral vision along a constant horizon line – all encompassing, engulfing. Time stretches out in either direction.

Sunday, September 4, 2016


Imprint 2016 chalk pastel on paper 13x13" *SOLD

Imprint (n) - a lasting impression or effect

Imprint (v) - to fix (an idea) firmly in someone's mind

"The messenger, when on his way to visit Giotto and to inquire what other good masters there were in Florence, spoke first with many artists in Siena - then, having received designs from them, he proceeded to Florence, and repaired one morning to the workshop where Giotto was occupied with his labors. He declared the purpose of the Pope and the manner in which that Pontiff desired to avail himself of his assistance, and finally requested to have a drawing that he might send it to His Holiness. Giotto, who was very courteous, took a sheet of paper, and a pencil dipped in a red color; then, resting his elbow on his side, to form a sort of compass, with one turn of the hand he drew a circle so perfect and exact that it was a marvel to behold. This done, he turned, smiling, to the courtier, saying, "Here is your drawing." "Am I to have nothing more than this?" inquired the latter, conceiving himself to be jested with. "That is enough and to spare," returned Giotto."
- Giorgio Vasari, Lives of the Artists. Pages 7-8.