I’ve become a firm believer in the idea that I should paint what I know. By adhering to this principle, I find that that subject matter is everywhere and right at hand and owing to familiarity, I find I have an organic, intimate understanding of it. My interests are broad: my neighborhood, its houses, trees, roads, walks, fences and yards and nearby, the river, reflections in it, the large canal, acequias, etc. I’m interested in the world as seen from my car window in the Rio Rancho suburbs and on the highway between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, the pavement, cars, trucks, highway signs, pinons, power lines, silhouettes of the Sandia and the Sangre de Cristos all set against and dwarfed by a sky that is immense and color variable; bright turquoise, leaden with thunderheads, watermelon red, apricot or pale yellow at sunrise and sunset.
With rare exception, my work is un-peopled, their imprint is everywhere and clear, but they, for the moment are absent. Their homes and yards-recently re-done or in need of maintenance, their candidate signs, placards, festive decorations and yard art all tell their story. The story of a human collective on the land is told in highways, overpasses, scars and cuts, transmission stations, solar arrays and wind turbines. The battle between humans and their edifices and nature and natural forces is exemplified in cracked plaster, peeling paint, broken pavement, squashed inflatables, and scavenged refuse containers. I enjoy portraying the light that bathes my un-peopled world, natural and incandescent, sourced by the sun, moon, streetlight or porch lamp.
My wife and I moved from our downtown Albuquerque loft to the valley in the summer of COVID, with us came hundreds of canvases. It was important for me to re-purpose them, but I wanted to do it in a way that didn’t hide, but rather featured what came before in the form of texture. Thus, daubs and licks of paint from previous compositions show up as texture, over which are painted new images. I particularly like the way gold spray painted areas in the new work become a topography of the past. I’m also modifying old frames by painting them in ways that extends the image or complements the colors, or combinations of colors of the works that I fill them with.
I work in three series, Uberscapes, the Anthropocene and Contourscapes.
Uberscapes are landscapes, only more so. In them I combine imagery, a street scene from one of my mobile photographs with trees from another and a sky-scape from a third. Lavender and tangerine skies where actually they were turquoise or gray. And, or the use of gold paint.
The Anthropocene documents the relationship between humans and what was, and may one day become again, a natural environment. Humans imposing themselves on nature, and nature fighting back, sometimes feebly, sometimes quite successfully. The Anthropocene is also about the tendency of humans to anthropomorphize much of what they see in the world around them.
Countourscapes are essentially dioramas. They play with the idea of elevation, laid on its side, pushing and pulling the space contained inside a miniature stage set. A stage set created by cutting apart painted images and reassembling them on spacers of different heights, producing namesake contours, that are attached to a wood ground contained in a deep frame that enhances the objects inherent three-dimensionality.