As a kid I was a rolling stone; my family was always on the move. I could never put down roots and never knew I wanted to. As an adult, I found I could choose to stay or go; first making the western U.S., then specifically Albuquerque my home. My work reflects this choice, and the things I see and know well that are all around me.
In the early 80’s I exhibited my work in solo and group shows at the University of Utah and Springville Art Museums, Salt Lake Art Center and the Ogden Union Station Gallery. During this time to make my way, I fabricated large scale metal sculpture and signage at Wasatch Bronzeworks and designed office and retail interiors.
Coming to Albuquerque in the late 80’s, for two-plus decades my focus shifted to building construction. In 2009 a professional change allowed me to resume art making. Since then, I’ve exhibited at the Albuquerque International Sunport, the Harwood Art Center and Casa Cultura in Albuquerque. I’ve participated in group shows and fairs in New Mexico, California, Colorado, Florida, New York and Texas. I reside in Albuquerque’s North Valley.
ABOUT MY PROCESS
My paintings are more often than not on re-purposed canvases or Gator Foam panels. I paint over former images, but don’t sand down the surface before I start anew; rather, I leave what came before to show through/live on. Thus, daubs and licks of paint become the ground for new images. I especially like the way the ghosts of former images provide glint and contrast in gold spray painted areas in the new work. Texture for me is a topography of the past.
I combine images in my work, a river scene from one of my cell phone photographs with trees from another and a sky-scape from a third. Where actually the skies were turquoise or gray, I may paint them lavender and tangerine. With rare exception, my work is un-peopled, their imprint is there but they for the moment are absent.
ABOUT MY IMAGERY
On foot, close to my home, and within a one mile radius from it, is the river, a sprawling neighborhood with houses and yards, and a park. On a walk, I notice a neighbor’s positively animate Prickly Pears; where Stem-Cladodes are engaged in quiet conversation, while others lounge about in shadow. At the park a fiery sunrise back lights playground equipment that come to life, anticipating the children that will soon engage it. Along the river I see a rainbow whose colors at one end pierce dark clouds. The other end bends towards me in a broad arc, reflected in the golden glint of the water.
By car, ribbons of New Mexico’s highways connect the long distances from town to town. As seen through my windshield, the landscape is animate and ever changing, the horizon seems near, although it is not. Land forms are indeterminate, their colors include blues and grays, khaki and cadmium. The sky is so very large, it dwarfs all else. Clouds take the form of benign puffs and elegant streamers, but can also morph into ominous battle cruisers-deliverers of lightning. The space in between can be turquoise, it can be multi-colored and vividly hued, or it can be a matte gold dotted by crows.
In the Southwest, when the angle of the sun is right, a shadow world can be observed where objects natural and manmade are depicted in ways that are relatable, but whose meanings are simultaneously changed. Whereas a tree is just a tree, in the world of shadow it is animate and can become whatever or whomever the viewer makes of it. Shadows are not faithful representations of the objects that cast them. They are instead doppelgangers with a life of their own, marks and thrusts on a ground of broad color, animate creations; monsters and angels. Shadows exist in a world parallel to our own but not of it, and they are shape-shifters-owing to even the slightest passing cloud they can become something else, or disappear entirely.
I’m a believer that a person’s art should reflect what they know. I have made a point of noticing what is near and what is far-but still familiar; sunrises and sunsets, shadow and rainbows. I have never tired of the childhood game of ascribing animal and vegetable, real or mythic attributes to clouds, and assigning each to worlds of dark or light. My hope is that I carry on noticing!