THE MIDDLE YEARS
The middle years of my career, to date, involved a great deal of exploration in both my work and my life. Upon beginning to paint professionally, there was the certain knowledge that my work would evolve into something larger, though I lacked a crystal clear vision of what exactly that would be. Thus, having gained a solid foundation in my work for many years, in the late 1980’s I pulled up anchor and began to experiment more and more, decisively setting out as real trooper into the unknown. Unwilling to settle on anything comfortable, I sought to open any door that could lead to growth and evolution artistically and personally, knowing it was the only path to a clear vision and realization of some greater works, if those works were, indeed, to be had. This, more than I would have imagined, led to a great many changes in my life, my experiences, and my vision.
During this time, which lasted about fifteen years, I continued to paint subject matter similar to my earlier works, while also painting radically different and purely experimental subjects in styles entirely different from what I had been doing for the earlier part of my career. Additionally, I branched out into different mediums of expression, to include the design and fabrication of things like furniture, and ceramics, as well as wood sculpture and more decorative arts. Also, I revisited my earlier work as a jewelry maker and designer, began to explore the world of computers and multi media arts, and spent some years devoted to music. As my travels took me further and further, I continued with photography, having first ventured into the darkroom to print my own photographs in high school. During these experimental exploratory years, I continued to take private commissions for paintings. And while it may sound like I had become the captain of a ship lost at sea, quite the opposite was true. I was exploring with a clear focus and intent, my compass fully functioning, yet with a very open mind. And one truth that is certain is that every experience, discipline and skill, combine to enhance both the total person and the focused individual works… in every form of expression.
On this page, you will see my paintings representing my more traditional works during this time period. In these paintings, I had become more focused on the subtleties of light, color, and composition, and began to pay particular attention to atmosphere - how it changes, its importance in our perceptions, and how we interpret and feel about things. It is easy to understand the idea of atmosphere and how it effects us by thinking of perfume, how different scents have a strong and palpable effect on us, each very different and unique, and how we might capture that in paint.
This painting is of a horse and carriage on the south end of Central Park, in Manhattan. I only lived in New York for about six months, but I was lucky enough to do so and end up with some rather nice paintings.
Another New York painting - perhaps nothing is more iconographic of Fire Island than its wagons.
With motor vehicles prohibited, people carry their goods about with the help of old fashioned pull wagons.
I was intrigued by the different textures in this still life, how the materials and surface of the pumpkin, glass, liquid, and wood were each so unique in their own right, yet all quite warm, soft, and inviting in a way that bound them closely together.
I met this lovely woman on the Plaza in Santa Fe and didn't hesitate to ask her if she would be so kind as to let me do a painting of her. Not something I do often.
She graciously agreed and I was very fortunate for it. I ended up doing two paintings of her. This one, unfortunately, was stolen with ten other paintings.
Having been associated with several Shamans and the visionary medicines from the Amazon, I did this painting (in the late 1980's) to bring attention to the tragic situation taking place there, like so many places, where both nature and native peoples are being exterminated - to all of our peril, regardless of where we are from.
When I do paintings of people, I use real models and real artifacts.
For this painting, the model is a friend of mine and I made the bow and arrows, necklace, and what little clothing there is, myself, after researching them in great detail.