Paintings happen quickly, taking only a few seconds to pour and about 15 minutes to dry.
Each painting is built on a jig, deforming a Masonite canvas which becomes pliable like fabric when draped over a form. Construction usually takes a week, but in the case of the Wave painting, required three years to build. Pencil helps me find ideas as a confluence of imperfect lines allows for emergence. I take successful drawings into 3D, Autodesk’s Maya, to conceive setting, scale, and increasingly to simulate flows of particles. With help in fabrication, we build forms like miniature train sets, looking across the landscape with an eye to what kind of flood we are hoping to create, effecting time with hills to slow progress, weighting holes to accelerate flows, adjusting the surface so its flow can be maximal in arc but gradual in speed.
Too much energy in a system creates aggressive adorations. These paintings are not performances by an artist as we might imagine, with eccentric flourishes and impact. My investment is in meaning. The paintings are left to dry as a fossil of a geologic process. Here, a paintbrush is destructive. Even pouring over the same area twice creates holes and tears in evolving textures. Each paintings is poured in one gesture, as a single breath into space and left to develop.
The responsibility is to find where the water can perform, always to ask, “What does it need?” These paintings are ecological, with minerals as markers in movement, concerning energies applied and balances. More broadly, they are explorations of agency within material, our relationships to other in the concept of transference, an unconscious direction of power from one plane to another. The canvas is a border between structure and chaos. A concept used by abstract expressions was, “painting from the backside if the canvas,” where what happens underneath the surface, here the sub-conscious, effects what happens on top. In the ecological frame, we effect the sky.
After the painting is set up, I trace shapes in water to pour paint into, sometimes using a pattern of soaked felt as a place holder before removing it and pouring into the wet shape. Water likes water and if I have prepared the surface properly, the pour generally abides by the shape its given. Accidents still happen.
The paints I use, which I dilute to a consistency of milk, are Golden’s Interference acrylics. They contain mica flakes that sparkle as they tumble in currents. I strive for compositions which speak from nature, birds, cells, continents and the simple physics that generate familiar forms. As space is a collection of desecrate points, we also exist in networks of changing patterns, as neighboring parcels moving at different velocities, generating the creative gift of friction in our rough agent interactions.
Fundamental to all creation is the wave, how it aggregates mater, is the force for change and our animate existence. Its effect of peak and trough, accumulation and breaking, respiration can be seen in the most successful paintings I present.