PUSHING PAINT OVER SHAKY GROUND
History says. Don’t hope
On this side of the grave.
But then, once in a lifetime
The longed-for tidal wave of justice
Can rise up,
And hope and history rhyme.
So hope for a great sea-change
On the far side of revenge.
Believe that a further shore
Is reachable from here.
Believe in miracles
And cures and healing wells.
— Seamus Heaney, from The Cure at Troy
In this series of land, sea and sky scape paintings, I leave behind twenty five years of introspective narrative figurative work in search of a new view of myself in relation to place and passage of time.
I choose wood panels to work on because the stability of the wood supports my mixed media application of glue, silk screen, molding paste, pastels, and oil paint. This process of addition and reduction of mixed-media gradually develops each painting into an overall visual depiction of liquid movement and deeply spectral atmospheric surface tension.
The paintings start with a foundation of silk-screened text derived from television scripts written by my father in the 1960s and 1970s, and wall paper patterns taken from the bedrooms I slept and dreamed in. Memories of narrative expressed by my father in his TV scripts conjoin with elusive images of home decorating, cooking, and beauty ads from women’s magazines to drive the emotional content of these paintings. Tape lines are then laid across saturated color panels, grounding the otherwise atmospheric compositions, creating fictitious horizons and imaginary landscapes. Bands of automatic writing cut across the horizons punctuating the doctrine in my father’s writing. Often, sand from my hometown beach finds its way into the compositions.
Although these silkscreened icons of my past history lay the foundation for my paintings, their significance gradually diminishes under the weight of atmospheric color and disappearing memories, giving way to new imaginary dreamscapes and the passage of time.