This most recent body of work is a continuation of themes that I have been engaged in over the last decade. My work has simultaneously been an exploration of organic forms inspired by nature and landscape, as well as an investigation of formal issues such as line, color, shape, and composition. In these paintings, I attempt to capture a mood, an ephemeral moment, an imagined place, a weather event, or the passing of time.
As a city dweller drawn to the organic and the natural, I find constant inspiration on my daily walk through the Back Bay Fens, the city park near my home. The park, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, is an “urban wild.” I am there in all seasons and find myself drawn to the large, sweeping vistas as well as to the minutiae—things like the surface of a frozen puddle or the texture and color of plant life.
The park is full of layers, and there is an openness but also a secretiveness to it. The river that runs through at times conceals, and then reveals what lies beneath. The park is bare and bleak in the winter, all mud in March, plush and green in late spring into summer, then shifts into softer shades in autumn. All these contrasts, all these details inspire me to capture the memory and sensation of the place.
My process is something like visual spelunking. I enter into the piece in darkness and try to work my way out with line and color. Often, a piece has three or four stages during which it changes radically. I build up shapes and lines, using stencils and freehand drawing that sometimes get painted out, or pushed back so that they are merely peeking through the surface, to be reworked or rearticulated again later. Botanical forms, topographical lines, maps, calligraphy, underwater scenes, and geometric forms inspire the imagery.
These works are an abstract imagining of what resides in the pockets of nature in the urban wild, under the water, in vernal pools, in garden ponds, and in the river itself.