I have held to the belief that paint has the possibility to express deep human truths and insights. My urge to paint was for emotional and aesthetic reasons. I was always attracted to the Abstract Expressionists but often wondered if their language of abstraction could be reconfigured to a smaller and more modest scale, one more concerned with tenderness, beauty and intimacy, what I cared about. Since I started painting in an abstract manner, about ten years ago, I have been searching for a kind of language to find my way deeper into my imagination and subconscious, a kind of soul searching. That required a lot of experimentation and trusting my intuition which was not always an easy task. A lot of work was discarded for being too conceptual, too contrived, not deeply enough engaged with my imagination. Fostering trust in my intuition was a balancing act between knowing and not knowing. The knowing was about knowing what works for me personally and what does not. Rigid geometric forms and straight lines don’t work for me, much as I’ve tried. Nuance, in this case blending paint, and subtlety work much better. Too much planning never works either. Painting in the kind of stream-of-consciousness way that I paint means I don’t much plan what I paint. I may have a vision or a feeling in mind and some color preferences but not much else. Staying with what comes up, being with not- knowing and not forcing the outcome is crucial and not always easy.
Sometimes the whole endeavor of painting seems pointless, but ultimately I feel more connected to myself when I am engaged with paint. It’s important to me to feel my feelings with paint. Howard Hodgkin said “The only way an artist can communicate with the world at large is on the level of feeling. I think the function of the artist is to practice his art to such a level that like the soul leaving the body, it comes out into the world and affects other people.” I agree.