My process usually begins with drawing. I keep things simple. I use vine charcoal on paper. Vine charcoal allows for uncertainty while building an image. It is both soft and hard, incredibly versatile, capable of creating razor thin lines or smooth, blended planes. A drawing may take days or mere seconds. The charcoal is applied to a surface and worked until visual potential appears. Often I will begin a drawing with my eyes closed, knowing that my intuition often outperforms my intellect. A finished drawing may have 20 drawings within it, all which have been erased, reworked and transformed.
Drawing is my generator. Nearly all of my work (2D or 3D) is born through drawing. My intention when I begin these drawings is to create a sustainable image. I seek not to define my results. My purpose is merely to create an image that resonates, something that does not give it self away, something that lingers like a vibration, something that hopefully speaks to the unspeakable, some that has never been seen before.
Themes do appear in these drawings and I do often pursue them. Common imagery consists of text, ghosts, holes, waves, windows etc. The “knowable” content within the work is equally as important as the “unknowable” content. Stronger than specific themes in the work is a general search for the “visual occult,” or works of wondrous impossibility: like fluttering shadows that keeps us looking.
The drawings spill out and serve as base material for all of my work. From one drawing, I might make 10 different paintings; conversely, from 10 drawings, I might make one sculpture.
The paintings will always be different from the drawings because paint allows for physical and visual effects that drawing does not. The paintings allow for more subtle and complex relationships. Painting is created through the visual surface and the physicality of the stroke (which may also have dimension). Oil paint allows me a seemingly “infinite” workability like vine charcoal. My paintings nearly all are completed a la prima, working wet on wet. Like the drawings, paintings may take minutes or hours, evolving many times.
I often hang my small paintings in complex groups. These groups serve as individual works composing larger works (trees in the forest). The paintings become likes words, sentences, and pages. The stories these groups tell are fractal, beginning and ending in any position.
My 3D works inhabit space like specters. Their existences must be uncertain and strange. Occupying real space (unlike the 2D work), it is harder to achieve the “impossible instances” I often seek with the 2D works. Sometimes the sculptures almost appear as drawings in space, crawling out information.
My work is for all individuals (composing the whole), those who believe in art, the power of visual information. These works are ashes, sparks, and fires. Contemplation is our greatest gift, and beliefs our highest walls.