My initial impetus to paint comes from the experience of looking at other paintings and objects of art. The more complicated job of separating my own thoughts and emotions through the process of painting follows.
I work with paint in the most direct way. Because I am a swimmer, painting is a kinesthetic experience incorporating a full range of bodily movements, including balance and repetitive rhythm. I work through a body relation to materials.
The beginning stages of my paintings are often inchoate. I begin by drawing with paint, sometimes using the shapes and markings on natural objects as a starting point. I may have an idea in mind usually involving a memory or sensation of place where I grew up in West Virginia or I may not. It takes days and months of painting before I recognize something I can respond to in my work. At this point emotion turns into felt response.
While working I often have an uncomfortable physical and psychological response. There are usually radical changes and often the unexpected happens. I try to retain an uncertainty within the framework so that I am dealing with something unknown. This means keeping open a certain Zen of opposites, yin and yang, open and closed, fast and slow, smart and stupid, hard and soft. At some point the paintings tells me what to do, whatever idea I had in mind for the painting dissolves. I am never sure whether I finish the painting or whether it finishes with me.