Academic journal article The Southern Review

Artist's Statement

Academic journal article The Southern Review

Artist's Statement

Article excerpt

I DIDN'T PLAN ON painting pictures this way. I happened to have a piece of colored paper lying around the studio one day, and I stuck it to a painting I was working on and it changed the work in a way that pleased me. Now I'm obsessed with the process. I begin by drawing on canvas with a little paint, having a general idea of what I'm going to make. A still life or imagined incident in the studio--maybe with some birds and cats. Sometimes a narrative, something more New England-gothic takes shape. To make the picture I employ four elements that I believe are the bones of painting: form, color, clarity, and surprise. With those elements in mind, I color sheets of paper with vinyl and aerosol paints. I pick the right color, cut out a shape, and adhere it to the canvas, then paint on top of it. I continue this method until the picture comes together.

While my intention is to get it right on the first attack, this is never the case. Over time my pictures become layered, relief-like sculptures and even begin to curl and warp like old posters on the Bowery. I work on four or five paintings at a time, and they often take about a year to make. It's a thrilling, strange moment when, after months of hacking away at some piece of work, it suddenly snaps together, or at least you can see that it will, and you finally get your last couple of days of fun with it, putting the icing on the cake. …

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