It Won't Always Be Like This (oil on canvas, 2017)
I’ve always been a fan of instrumental music, whether classical, jazz, rock, metal, or new age. In fact, I spent many years playing in an instrumental rock band when I was younger. People would often come up to me at shows and say something along the lines of: “You are guys are great, but why aren’t there any words?”
I had a wonderful drawing teacher in college, the printmaker Elizabeth Peak. I had seen quite a bit of her work and most of it was landscape, or landscape with man-made structures in it, but no figures. I asked one day why there weren’t any people in her pictures and she said, “As soon as you put a figure in the picture, it becomes a narrative.” This made me think about music and how as soon as you add lyrics to it, it, too, becomes a narrative.
I love the way that pure music, devoid of words or narrative, can elicit a multitude of emotions through the use of sound, texture, rhythm, timbre, volume, harmony and tempo. Painting can do the same thing with color, shape, texture, value, rhythm, scale and line. But it’s been difficult for me to free myself from the tether to representation without feeling self-consciously self-indulgent. Gradually, though, I’ve developed an increasing dissatisfaction with representation in my work and more and more have become enamoured of the ability of the paint to express my personality without describing objects. I think the development of a personal mode of expression (in any of the arts) shouldn’t be forced, but should evolve naturally. As we become dissatisfied with the efficacy of the tried-and-true methods to convey our feelings and ideas, we are forced out of necessity to cut a new path through the forest.
I am a full time artist, originally from Massachusetts, currently living in northern Maine. I work primarily in oils and pastel, and occasionally watercolor. I offer instruction in drawing and painting at my studio in a renovated potato house. Please feel free to view samples of my work (You can see a larger version of each picture if you click on it.) and leave a comment if you are so inclined. Be sure to click the "Older Posts" button at the bottom to see more work. I don't always have time to respond to comments, but if you wish to correspond with me, you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org