About the Artist
I’m an author and freelance writer who has been painting longer than I’ve been writing. I decided, two decades ago, to focus primarily on visual art and begin exploring the nature of painting, by both doing it and writing about it. Previously, I was author of The Force (Random House) and The Cost of Living (Viking), and numerous articles for national magazines. My award-winning paintings have been exhibited at museums, galleries and universities in the United States and Europe.
I have taken instruction in painting from other artists at various institutions including Munson Williams Proctor and Memorial Art Gallery, but refrained from getting a degree in art because, in my teens and twenties I felt alienated, at that time, by much of what was happening in the world of art. In the 80s, I discovered a renewed embrace of representational painting and gained a new vision of how art history has opened out into unlimited possibilities for work in any genre or mode. I began to exhibit and sell work professionally over the past two decades.
Painting is a way of bringing myself back to my own nature again and again, in unpredictable ways. It wakes me up to the wholeness of life in a way that silences my analytical, conceptual mind. At its best, it is a direct seeing into the nature of things, reconnecting me with the mystery of being. When a painting works, it breathes with its own life in a way that has nothing to do with “significance” or “meaning” or its role as a symbolic act. Life itself isn’t a symbol, it doesn’t “mean” something, and the greatest paintings embody the inexpressible wholeness of life. A painting is either alive, or it isn’t, and this mysterious quality of life is something the critical mind can’t pin down or dissect or explain.
In my latest series of salt water taffy paintings, I explore variations of color, shape, line and lighting within a tight, repetitive format: two pieces of taffy on a reflective surface as an armature for color and light. When I finish a painting, it evokes seasons, places, moods, and deeper relationships, even spiritual struggles—but this resonance isn’t planned. With representational painting, I’m exploring a broad range of expressive possibilities by rigorously restricting my format, influenced by abstractionists such as Rothko, Noland, Agnes Martin, and Stella. I’m discovering an individual world of perception and feeling in each painting, by virtue of the restricted uniformity of the format. The subject matter aligns loosely with Pop, while the execution is traditional and painterly, and yet Color Field has been my inspiration. My aim is to make color and form my central concern, painting objects that carry no preconceived significance. My only concern is to make the image work as a sort of visual music.
I’ve exhibited in museums, galleries and universities throughout the U.S. and in London. Manifest Gallery has published two of my essays on art. Every few years I have a solo or two-person show and continue to write about art here. I’ve won numerous awards and my work is in private collections both in the U.S. and internationally.