|Each of my paintings begins as an actual "test" to explore some aspect of my materials deeply saturated inks, stains and dyes which migrate and seep through creamy white paint films and layers of acrylic resin. Whereas traditional artist paints are formulated to be stable and controllable, stains are capricious and easily affected by a number of factors. Even after years of study, I'm still intrigued by the hidden chemistries of these materials.
Inspired in part by scientific images of gel electrophoresis, the paintings feature intimate views of materials and document how they react to each other, to light, and to the passage of time. Some of the more complex paintings serve as reference guides in the studio, with many small notations written directly on the surface to help me sort out the actual data contained there. These notes are one of the physical forms that I use to display parallels between scientific and artistic exploration.
These paintings can be viewed as frozen moments in time when something occurred and was captured in the acrylic film, like a bug in amber. They're also slow-motion performances, gradually changing as the materials continue to interact on a microscopic level. Halos of effusive color emerge where one component in a stain drifts away from it's moorings, creating edges that hover. It's a type of color that suggests something outside of our ordinary, everyday world. Beautiful, but also sort of bizarre inflamed, infectious-looking, suggestive of energies that we can't see.
Like most painters, I was educated to use archival materials and "proper" painting techniques, and this practice was the original motivation behind my "sun test" series as a way of sorting out fugitive materials from those that are light-fast. But instead of discarding such materials, I've found myself attracted to them, drawn by the additional layer of complexity that such changes suggest, and by the very notion of impermanence.
Whether the painting is large or small, you're meant to get up close. The lush matte surface and blurry, out-of-focus quality bring further attention to the effort of looking. Repetition is employed to compare & contrast, and to provide situations where unexpected mutations might occur. The shape of a circle may gradually evolve into another form, or a line drift further out than expected. I intentionally try to keep evidence of my own hand in the background for the most part, preferring it look as if they were made the way that nature makes things.