Creative work has always been the foundation of my life. In college I received six years of extensive training in drawing, painting, sculpture, and art history, and graduated with a B.S. Degree in Design. My career in retail design was very fulfilling, working worldwide in architecture and design, and over all these years I have always painted and made sculptures. I have presented figurative and abstract work in varying venues including competitions and private galleries throughout my life.
In the late 1990’s, I developed an Essential Tremor (ET). ET is a genetically inherited progressive neurological disorder, causing considerable shaking, primarily in my hands. Even with medication, the tremor reduces my ability to use small motor skills, limiting my ability to draw freehand. Faced with ever declining control of line making skills, I chose to refocus my art away from figurative work, to primarily abstract painting and sculpture.
In the Fall of 2016, I was bitten by a poison spider requiring hand surgery. In the recovery room, I went into cardiac arrest. I was resuscitated and life flighted to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. They were unable to do heart surgery due to the hand and I remained in intensive care for a week. A month later I had a second hand surgery. Since then I have been working my way through the various stages of cardiac rehabilitation and have resumed making new art.
I have always been a very structured person; military school, pre-med, then architecture and design. I prefer compositions that are geometric, rectilinear, symmetrical and controlled. Also, I have been experimenting with adding sculptural elements within the paintings to consider forms that go beyond the edge of the painted surface. I consider these pieces to be “combine paintings” that unite sculpture and painting. Currently, I am seeking to minimize my compositions with forms that embrace regimentation while exploring a variety of paint materials, application techniques and finished surfaces.
While I have a clear concept in mind before I begin new work, my paintings are nonetheless process driven and evolve as the work progresses. Visually, the work focuses on composition, layers and visual textures produced by wide brushes controlled with two hands and a variety of tools like painting spatulas and plastering trowels. I am very grateful to whoever invented masking tape because without it, I could not paint a straight edge. Also, I have come to appreciate the rhythmic movement of my tremor as I apply paint. I hope to lean on it more heavily as I develop new work.
My sculptural work is evolving. Previously, my sculptures have been assemblages, employing numerous pieces of material and “things” I have collected over the years. Today, my new work begins with forms rather than a collection of things. I still slip back toward assemblage at times because I enjoy the humor it brings to the work, but as the sculptures become larger this will be impractical. Also, I have been experimenting with programmable lighting within the work to bring more visual movement to the pieces. Long term, I hope to work with teams of suppliers to make my larger sculptures. The conceptual part of the work will remain with me, but supply and fabrication of parts and materials, the building of structural supports and some of the finishing and assembly will be done by others.