The term I use to describe my particular style of abstract painting is Intuitive Abstracts. The procedure for producing my abstract paintings is completely intuitive. That is to say that I do not plan my abstract paintings. I may begin them with a general idea of size or color but beyond that I like to set my imagination free and let the paintings evolve before my eyes. The evolution of the painting happens as I make corrections or add dimension to the canvas by deciding on color changes or the use of a brushstroke. I make strong use of color and color harmonies in order to give my paintings a strong emotional feeling.
My medium of choice is acrylic paints. I began my painting career as an oil painter but when I decided to paint abstracts I switched to acrylics and fell in love with them and have been using them exclusively ever since. I mostly use brushes to apply paint but on occasion I will utilize a palette knife, especially to create textures. I prefer to paint on stretched canvas as opposed to panel. I love the slight ‘give’ of canvas as well as utilizing the tooth of the canvas to help build many layers of colors.
After many years as a realist painter, I was bored and decided to switch to abstraction. In abstraction I saw the opportunity to be freer and more expressive. My abstract painting style has evolved over the years but I have always taken pleasure in that symbiotic expressive dance between myself, the paints and the canvas where the intent is not to replicate reality but to express myself through the exploration of the paints and tools .
What inspires an artist is an age old question. I am inspired by many things but my main three inspirations are the materials, discovery and looking at fine art. The materials: I love the material of paintings. Buying a new brush or standing in front of a beautiful blank canvas is very exciting to me. I am also fascinated by the paints themselves. I love the viscous feel of paints, the way they feel when applied to the canvas.
The other thing that inspires me is discovery. I love being challenged and painting is always a challenge, whether I am painting something I have never painted before, discovering a different technique or simply observing happy accidents that happen on the canvas and utilizing them in the completion of the painting.
One of my greatest inspirations is viewing great paintings. I thoroughly enjoy visiting galleries and museums to see great works of art. When I stand in front of a great painting by an old master or contemporary artist, I am reminded of the paint’s potential and I can’t wait to get back in front of my easel and paint again.
My two favorite artistic quotes are “If you don’t love painting, painting won’t love you” and “If I knew how to paint it, I wouldn’t do it”.
I am mostly influenced by the New York School of Abstract Expressionism. Artists like Franz Klein, Barnett Newman, DeKooning, Motherwell and others were the early inspirations that helped me learn the language of abstractions. But I also am influenced by art of the late Renaissance and the Baroque period. There is so much to learn about paint and its application when you study contemporary art and art of the old masters.
I did not intentionally set out to have a career as a visual artist. Art was a personal endeavor, something I did routinely but basically for personal satisfaction. Initially I was coerced by my older brother to join and exhibit with a local art association. Once I got the taste of public adulation it became addictive. Later the appeal of being a full time artist as opposed to working in an office was just too appealing. I loved displaying my art, exhibiting, painting live in front of an audience and teaching. And of course, there is nothing more flattering to an artist than someone purchasing their work.