Sweating & Drooling,
oil on linen, 64 x 48", 2013
What are you working on in your studio right now?
Currently, I’m focusing most of my energy on two large paintings. I haven’t worked this large in a long time and I’m surprised at how comfortable I feel with them. Like a lot of my work the imagery is loosely symmetrical and the forms have a lightness to their wiggly contours. I’m interested in some of the new ideas being developed in physics and quantum mechanics, and I think these oscillating lines have come out of that.
Can you describe your working routine?
I prefer full days in my studio, but that’s not to say I spend the whole day painting. My mornings often begin with youtube tutorials dealing with physics and how science can explain the world: here
In the afternoon I organize and arrange the studio; maybe draw in my sketchbook. Actual painting usually happens in the late afternoon and into the evening. I think it takes time for me to quiet my head enough to focus on the work. I also like the transition from day to night; what poets call the blue hour.
Can you describe your studio space and how, if at all, that affects your work?
I work in a studio that was a knitting factory before I took it over. I’m very happy with my studio and feel lucky to have it. Like any studio, my space provides a relative scale that helps determine the size of my paintings.
Tell me about your process, where things begin, how they evolve etc.
My paintings begin in my sketchbook as small thumbnail drawings. I make many and select the ones that suggest a new painting. I then use stencils to enlarge my thumbnails into larger drawings on the paintings. As I develop the work, the stencil helps me stay in touch with the drawing that generated the impulse to make the painting in the first place.
What are you having the most trouble resolving?
I’ve been feeling a nagging tug to make the imagery in my work a little more figurative and I’m not completely comfortable with that. On second thought, that might be the newest issue I’m having trouble with, rather than the most difficult. The most difficult issue right now is figuring out how wiggly the lines should be.
Do you experiment with different materials a lot or do you prefer to work within certain parameters?
Right now I’m ok just using oil paint. I experiment with the application of the paint (brushes, rags, flicking the paint off the brush) and using different mediums, solvents and linen. Some of my favourite artists use all kinds of materials, but right now I still really enjoy the physical flatness of my painting surface.
What does the future hold for this work?
One thing I can say about the future for my work is that I hope to finish the paintings I’m working on and make some more after that. I feel like the work pulls itself along and all I have to do is go along with it. That’s what I think is happening but it’s not how it always feels. I often have ideas for future paintings that seem to primarily create suffering and confusion. That said, I like the ideas and I’m going to continue bringing them to the work. In the end, the work moves along in a fashion that I can’t predict, and like many artists, I’ve gotten used to that.
Spooky Action II,
oil on linen, 27 x 20", 2013