With a graduate degree in poetry, I taught college English and art history for several years before falling in love with American painting. Painting for me has replaced poetry as a medium for the expression of strongly felt individual and universal experiences of reality. At the core of my practice is a tonalist approach that leans heavily on the expressivity of the materials of painting. Increasingly I’ve been channeling this basic orientation into contemporary idioms that I’m discovering through semi-abstraction and ever-deeper forays into the history of art.
Although much of my work is based in the landscape, I am most interested in painting as a visual language to express ideas and internal states of consciousness. I’m attracted to what Clement Greenberg called the “American chiaroscuro” of the New England writers and artists: Albert Pinkham Ryder, Hawthorne, Melville and Poe, whose work speaks to me about our culture’s haunted and complex relationships with nature, history, and ourselves. My paintings at times seem to be about the tension created between looking and responding to the world – questions of perception, subjectivity, and representation. I hope they’re also mostly about a state of mind – something genuine, non-rational, and intuitive.
I paint on site, en plein air and from life, to absorb sensations and a visual vocabulary of place, that later in the studio I try to draw upon with greater freedom of conception and expression.
“Art does not render the visible, but makes visible.” – Albert Pinkham Ryder
“Even sight heightened to become all-seeing
will do you no good without a sense of taking part.” – from Conversation with a Stone, WisŁawa Szymborska
“Facts become art through love.” – Kenneth Clark.
Teaching paining to others, outdoors and in the studio, helps me to process and integrate these ideas and practices through my work. I teach studio and plein-air workshops and classes from my studio in Lowell, Mass (Western Avenue Studios, #521) and write for several arts and humanities blogs and magazines including Art New England and American Art Revew.
Read a feature on my work in artscope magazine.