Every painting begins with play and experimentation…

Here is the stuff that my dreams are made on: fresh tubes of paint, brushes with sharp chiseled edges, silicone wedges of various sizes, implements that gouge and scratch into surfaces, chunks of smudgy graphite, pencils that carve into paint and leave their own indelible marks behind, straight edge tools and palette knives, waxy crayons and richly toned pastels, sandpaper, trowels, and the ever present roll of shop towels. Add to that perpetually growing list, the blank canvas, preferably wood, ready to receive whatever combination of elements and impulses I can devise.

Painting is both a visceral and physical experience. I love the combination. It’s what drives me to paint every single day, even on those days when the struggle is felt right down to the soles of my feet. When the brush falters and the painting surface fights back, those are simply signs that something wonderful is about to happen. It always does! I have learned to recognize this part of the creative process as evidence of an impending breakthrough, a shift in the work, something new being born. This is my joy.

Every painting begins with play and experimentation. “I wonder what will happen if I mix these colours together? If I scratch into the wet paint with this pottery tool? If I slide the paint on with my squeegee?” No expectations of anything other than the dance that happens between paint and mark-making tools, the music playing in the background, the view out the window, letting time unfold. It all contributes to what appears on the surface. The layers of paint that build up are everything. They create history, tell the story, reveal the tries, the attempts, the risks taken. For me, the layers are essential. I know that what’s underneath is as important as what’s immediately visible.