Growing up between Philadelphia and New York, I became an avid museum goer, making my first visit to the Philadelphia Museum of Art at age nine. My passion for looking at art led me to study at Rhode Island School of Design, (European Honors Program, BFA Painting, 1971), then Cranbrook Academy of Art, (Graduate Painting Program), both life shaping experiences. After completing my MFA at Syracuse University, I remained in upstate New York for over 25 years, teaching studio art on the college level, and exhibiting throughout the Northeast.
Although my work has shifted from descriptive to abstract over the years, it has always been responsive to observations about the natural world and my environment, as well as to what I read, ranging from scientific articles to literary fiction. I have also been guided by a sustained interest in looking at art in museums and galleries, and reading about both historical and contemporary issues.
Moving to North Carolina in 1999, my studio practice and exhibition opportunities continued until interrupted by serious injuries from a car accident. By 2009, I was able to start on my way back to a productive life, making small works on paper with colored pencils.
In 2012, I returned to live in Providence; by 2013 I was able to handle paint again. What emerged in my work at that time was an orthogonal deconstruction and reconstitution of the confluence of architecture, water and reflected light I found so compelling in my surroundings. Geometry, which continues to inform my thinking, has long played a role in how I see and learn, dating from my freshman year at RISD when I was first introduced to its function in understanding growth patterns in nature.
In general, my process begins with distilling the accumulation of information through drawing. Working on hard substrates, (wood or aluminum panels), I use acrylic paints applied as flatly as possible in multiple coats. Formally, I use degrees of contrast in value, hue and tonality to explore variations in compositional reading, occasionally excerpting a passage from a previous drawing, altering scale, or zooming in and out. With each new piece, I mix up a starting palette, which sets the pendulum in motion. Without any predetermined intent, the color development evolves into a new reading of structure, space, light and atmosphere. The complex, labor intensive execution I employ gives me the opportunity to think and extend decisions over time, a practice which allows me to intuitively focus on color as the key expressive medium, making the work more and more self-referential.
Another significant aspect of living in the Providence area now, is how memories and experiences from my formative years here are resurfacing, layering back into a more developed sensibility: my first exposure to jazz; the important influence musical structure exerts on my work - the parallels between musical composition and visual language; my introduction to the study of nature as a primary source of lifelong inspiration and explanation.
Departing from grid based compositions of the previous several years, the new work, dating from 2017, reflects my having moved to a live/work space located in a once thriving historic industrial area, where shafts of light and shadow surround me in a multitude of overlapping diagonals. I continue to contemplate how the interface between historical influences and the impact of technology, digitization and scientific discoveries affects the making and perceiving of art.