"In the Studio"
Statement: what I paint and why I paint it.
I paint the world I live in.
The high deserts of the southwest are not an easy affection. There is a loneliness and a sense of the tremendous scale of time that went into their creation. And there is a roughness to the land which makes it clear that plants, animals, and people live here only by great effort.
Sitting on the edge of a cliff in the backcountry, with the sun burning and the wind blowing, and the potsherds and ruins of past inhabitants never far away, enforces a sense of perspective on our own self-importance.
The people who have made their lives here have absorbed some of that roughness and know that they live here on sufferance.
Painting is like the desert. When you look at a painting you've got to sit still long enough to let it come alive around you. Not an easy thing to do in this distracted world, but perhaps more important because of that.
I like the roughness of the world I live in to be reflected in the roughness of the paint. And I always want to make clear that it is paint. The trees and canyons and the people who live among them are made of wood and rock and flesh, but my paintings are not; nor are they replicas or photographs. They are an interpretation of those things in the equally physical medium of oil paint.
I grew up in New York City, in the heyday of abstract expressionism, which I still find a useful way of exploring color and design. I moved to Santa Fe as a teenager, and I live in the adobe house I built when I was eighteen. I spent thirty-five years working as a carpenter and began to draw and then to paint when my back let me know I was through with construction. I am largely self-taught but I have had a range of excellent mentors, both here in Santa Fe and in the history of art.