I work in oils on canvas. The garden outside my studio is a fertile source of inspiration. With blossoms, leaves, sticks and other material sourced from nature, I create palettes of line, form, and color. From there, I journey into painting, experimenting with a visual vocabulary and seeking resonance with an inner landscape. My current group of paintings, "Abandoned Gardens," incorporates a sensibility gained from making monotypes.
My investigation of the garden began in San Francisco, where I grew colorful annual plants in pots and small beds and decorated a fenced backyard in order to have subject matter for painting. With a move to the orchard and vineyard countryside of Sonoma County, I began working with a large perennial garden, at first representationally, then with a greater sense of abandonment. Paintings from the first 10 years of my garden explorations are featured in my book, "A Painter's Garden: Cultivating the Creative Life." (see more...)
Monotypes are unique prints made by pressing paper against an inked plate. A second print, pulled from the same plate, is called a ghost. A print may be put through the press several times to build layers of imagery, thus a ghost may be reminiscent of its master, but have a different sensibility. Monotypes allow me the freedom to work expressively, yet incorporate my fascination with the exquisite details found in nature.
When beginning a printmaking session, I gather an array of material from my garden: petals, grasses, leaves, and seeds. I work intuitively. Sometimes a plant will extrude a pigment when it is run through the press. A stem or a seed makes a tactile depression in the paper, a gingko leaf casts a pattern of delicately ribbed lines, finer and more remarkable than drawing can simulate. I love the spontaneous line: the resilient arabesque of freshly cut grasses, the traces of bent and curling blades that have made several passes. Making monotypes is full of joy and surprises; more discoveries reside in the finished work.
Paintings are like old friends. I enjoy seeing them in public and private collections. A retrospective is included here for your interest, as well as for my own desire to have easy visual reference of my past work and continue learning from it. This catalog is a sampling of paintings from groups of investigations. I've long been interested in the environments in which people move. Many of my paintings contain figures; and even in the ones that don't, I try to create a space for viewers to enter.
Swimmers, Pedestrians, Harbors, Island Songs, and Woods were completed in my San Francisco studios and inspired by urban environments, as well as by excursions away from the city. The Gardens bridge my tending to nature in the city and the country. Orchards capture five weeks of daily, passionate drawing sessions in which I witnessed and recorded the demise of an orchard up the road from my home. My work in dance stage design and interest in choreography particularly relates to the figurative Swimmers, Pedestrians and Gardens, as well as to the monotypes, which to me are dances in the making. (see more...)
I take on commissions when I'm compelled by the visual and emotional terrain through which the paintings will lead. (see more...)