"If one loves nature, one can find beauty everywhere." - Vincent Van Gogh.
Seeing. Color, texture, tone. That's really what I'm about, seeing things I find beautiful or significant to me in some way, and trying to put them down on canvas or paper. The landscape in my head. In my heart. As my painting has evolved, I’ve become fascinated with the surface of the painting itself. How it’s built, how it evolves. And how it reflects much of what fascinates me in close examination of the world.
Over the course of 30 years, my work has slid towards abstraction, and then backed away, finding some balance between abstraction and representation. I couldn’t find the meaning in pure abstraction. Conversations with my son, Todd, friends Dave Dorsey and Troy Matthews, and other artists, about art, about what constitutes art, made me question myself, my need for meaning.
I watched an interview with Gerhard Richter, in which he is asked about his abstract work. The interviewer is fairly obviously looking for a comparison to his earlier body of realism, for meaning. For accessibility. Richter smiles and says something along the lines of, To make something beautiful. Something beyond myself.
And there was confirmation in that. In work that I so admire, in the explanation from the artist who made it. That beauty is enough. That the beauty I find in the natural world, in roaming the woods and rivers I love, and looking at things. Looking at things so closely their form disappears into their own tones and textures and color. That is enough.
In snow, in rocks, in skies. In rivers and streams. In forest fires.
It is the basis of this body of work.