Painting on found wood, with each piece having qualities of texture, decay, and grain is always an organic and intuitive process. The experience is much like surfing for me. The pursuit of a beautiful line, in a changing environment, is exhilarating. Add to it the power of color, shape, and texture and I’ll stay at it for hours.
The process of using the reclaimed wood involves hunting for it in the landfill or elsewhere, cleaning repeatedly until the piece can be painted on. The surface quality serves to suggest a landscape. I hope this art evokes the idea of new life and reworking the possible. From the landfill to the wall, this journey is very satisfying.
This latest series involves finding a variety of “vintage woods” and new woods and arranging them to find interesting textural, color, and shape relationships. The painted portions attempt to tie together these found pieces into one theme.
The atmospheric aspect to these landscapes points to the momentary reality they represent. A Buddhist friend who was looking at some of my paintings once told me these paintings remind him of “the natural mind.” This is a state wherein we are aware of the impermanence and passing of all reality, yet able to hang on to those things we want to as if they are permanent. I think that is very related to what is motivating me to make these images. When we see a beautiful scene, it is in flux, it is moving, and it is alive. It is not “a thing.” The life & death of this wood, being exposed to the natural elements gives each piece it’s character, but also suggests the wood as a process, not a thing. I try to find the possibilities and present dead matter anew.
My interest in art extends through my whole life, but didn’t get serious until the birth of my first son 10 years ago. I wanted to be sure as I became a father that I was living the life I really wanted, to be an example of the importance of living by one’s ideals. As teacher for 18 years, of both social studies for 7 years, and art for the last 11 I have tried to live by my ideals before anything else. I have always had to keep experimenting, intellectually and with materials, in order to keep the students (and myself!) moving in a positive direction.
I have lived in Santa Cruz and the larger bay area my whole life.
Friday October 5th
Catered by the always delicious Serendipity Jams!