As a native Texan who still lives in Texas, my life has given me many opportunities to travel throughout the world. Many of my paintings relate to moments in time while travelling, but also moments in life today.
My style of painting continues to change as my interests and desire change. While being a painter for most of my life I spent many younger years with instructors and in workshops. Eventually, in under-grad and graduate school, I continued to develop technical skills and knowledge of art theory as well as art history. I was also seeking what I had to say as an artist. As an art teacher I continued to hone my skills and seek to understand style changes; the artists whose work I taught my students; and then to put it all together with my life. While the work of my youth was more realistic in style it began to change in graduate school. My graduate thesis addressed the possibilities of balancing abstraction and representation. I chose 3 artists to compare, though there were others who have been an influence. I was intrigued with the sense of loneliness, of isolation, and use of light in the images of early 20th century painter Edward Hopper; the mystique and use of lighting in 17th century Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer; and the simplified and expressively painted forms of 20th century Richard Diebenkorn and others.
My goal, then, was to convey the mystery and intrigue first. I wanted to paint feeling, the time of day, the temperature; to create a mood that would become staging for the ambiguous figures to tell their stories. It became a balancing act of letting go and adding; to capture the kind of feeling, the love of mystery and intrigue I have when walking through narrow streets of cities in Italy like Venice, and the Medieval cities of San Gimignano and Ravenna or Eze, in southern France; yet paint without imagery becoming distracting. This became my challenge and continues to be; to paint a place with people but not an illustration; to give enough representational information that one “might” be drawn into the painting but not tell all. Expressively painted surfaces with exaggerated color and light and simplified or eliminated forms would play up the sense of mystery that seek to capture that alluring space that hovers between abstraction and realism. I want to show work that challenges me to find that perfect balance, that satisfies my personal sensibilities and objectives, while also engaging the viewer in my stories of life and moments in time; things that are there one moment and gone the next. When I am most successful, the paintings are neither abstract nor realistic. In the end they are both. The challenge continues as the style has shifted over the last twenty years, swinging back and forth like a pendulum, between levels of abstraction and representation. The challenge remains for me as I try to drag history and life today into a 21st century environment.
PAST EXHIBITION: 6.23.18 - 7.28.18 | McCall, Angeles, Bowman
CRAIGHEAD GREEN GALLERY
1011 Dragon Street Dallas, TX 75207 :: 214.855.0779