I paint small, alla prima expressionist still lifes in oil on canvas and canvas board. The objects I paint are common ones such as foods, flowers, glassware, china, tools and toys. Just as everyday objects reveal the world-at-hand, our bodies are the medium through which we own that world, and art is the way our bodies feast on it. And when we feast on our world, we feel placid and reassured.
My goal is to capture the workaday things that compose our homes. Foods sustain us. Flowers enliven our surroundings. Glassware and china fill our houses and delight us. Tools let us alter our environment. And toys let us imagine other selves. Many of the objects I paint are also antiquarian, humble, found objects, suggesting a more solid, simple, and civil world.
I keep my eyes open for objects that evoke tranquility and domesticity. Then, I choose a simple collection of them; arrange the objects in a natural composition; and select and mix colors that reveal less how the objects subsist, than how I feel about them in the moment. I begin with a loose line drawing and proceed to fill the forms, ground, and background with colors as quickly as my eye and hand can allow, often leaving the four edges of the canvas vignetted. I then return to the principal objects and try to make them as realistic as I feel they should be. Often, they remain sketchy and broken, with raised, visible marks and small splatters and knife-scratches, reflecting how we perceive our world—as a mosaic. I stop when the principal objects are fully described.
Most of our days seem like a ceaseless whirlwind of doing; but by applauding the plain and prosaic, my paintings ask the viewer to slow down, step back, stop doing and start looking—if only for a minute.