For me, struggle can be a breeding ground of creativity. In this fertile place of discovery, I grow attached to a painting process that oscillates between accurate visual representation and invented abstract forms. Visually, I desire to create a layered accumulation of paint and memories, a woven tapestry that captures a deeper and holistic view of my subjects. My hope is to explore the transformation between invention and perception. Often, I feel I fall short of this goal. However, I do believe the record of my effort reverberates with its own psychological strength.
In life, human beings balance constant change; our histories and memories undergo continuous revision. Much like people, paint can be fixed in place; paint can be in flux, paint can be both clean and a mess, the process of painting allows for the weight of history and memory as well as the breath of the present.
Nearly two years ago I returned home to the house where I grew up. Since that time I have been creating paintings, drawings and photographs of my 75-year-old father; for a much longer time, I have been documenting the glacially slow change in his environment. I have observed, over time, subtle yet significant changes in how he uses and interacts with his space.
I derive these portraits from a close study of a habitat and inhabitant. My father is creating priorities necessitated by age. I have watched certain parts of the house deteriorate, aging as he has aged, while other parts (blessed by his affection, need, and creativity) have undergone a renaissance.
Returning home has spurred growth and necessitated a more representational shift in my work. My recent work strives to balance perceived form with painterly invention developed during the painting process. My color has changed from bright synthetic hues representative of computer monitors to the neutrals that I associate more frequently with Kansas, my father and his home. I hope to capture the truth of my father as he is now because has my father is fond of saying “The truth is the truth changes”.