Artist Statement

About the paintings

Few times in the history of art are as symbolically and visually compelling as that of the Italian Renaissance. This continues to influence my paintings as I use elements of deep color, texture, gold leaf and pattern to present that sacred historical richness in a contemporary context. Using these elements in my paintings is my way of expressing the quiet solemnity or simmering energy of places that are sacred to me.

Layering is very important both symbolically and visually. Surface shapes, created as negative space, top randomly placed geometric grids of underpaint and act as portals through which to peer. Manipulating the layers, allowing them to show through or melt away, is an invitation for a closer look at what lies beneath, what came before and a convergence of past and present.

About the process

Inspired by art history, yet searching for a current timelessness in my work, when I paint, I combine unconventional materials with traditional techniques and apply them in a contemporary way.

I paint on aluminum-faced fiberglass board for its reflective and uneven surface qualities, or on wood panels I’ve similarly prepared with thick, reflective texture. I build the paintings, layer upon layer, starting with brightly colored pattern, sprayed through screens, followed by translucent oil glazes and varnish resists for a luminosity achieved when combined with the aluminum ground.

I top this with imitation gold leaf, a copper and zinc alloy, to create the composition. I treat the leaf with a mild acidic solution of natural ingredients found in my kitchen, to develop a blue green patina or to melt it away entirely exposing more of the underlying shapes and colors, and enriching the layered effect.

I may include other metals, aluminum or iron, with craquelure and oxidation techniques for textural interest and an aged quality. Additional layers of oil glaze and varnish seal and enhance the painting and only at the end do I pick up a brush to complete the painting.