Untitled, 32"x38" oil, acrylic, spray paint,
graphite, glitter and collage on canvas. 2012
What are you working on in your studio right now?
I was recently in a show at Tracy Williams in New York, so I am still digesting the work from the show. I’m bouncing back and forth between some new ideas and pushing paint around in my studio. Most of my work lately has been smaller 18”x 22” or so, and I’m trying to work a bit larger to see how the work will function for me. Elements of the paintings are beginning to separate and each is gaining a more independent identity. Earlier work was at times very congested and I found myself editing out a lot of the painting. So, I am also currently wrestling with a more visually simplified or minimal painting.
Can you describe your working routine?
I am teaching a few classes here and there at a local liberal arts college and picking up other side jobs for money. This work schedule doesn’t allow me a structured block of time for the studio. I try to find big chunks of time when I can go up there and work. I have never been one that can go in the studio for a couple of hours. When I get those big 8-10 hour blocks I usually start pretty early. Make some coffee, turn on some music and sit in my studio for an hour or so. I usually start making some decisions to work on some pieces from past or start something new.
Can you describe your studio space and how, if at all, that affects your work?
My studio space is located on the second floor of the house. It is considered the third bedroom and I had to put up some temporary walls, because the ceiling angles with the roof making it difficult to stand in certain areas. My studio is very influential on my work and working process. It isn’t necessarily the smallest of rooms but everything is within reaching distance and that is important for me. The information in my work comes from my immediate studio environment.
Tell me about your process, where things begin, how they evolve etc.
I usually need to sit in my studio for some time. I have to let my brain kind of clear out. Most paintings start by grabbing something off the studio floor and placing it down on the surface of the canvas. Fragments of old paintings, pictures from magazines, oil paint, and craft art supplies litter my studio floor. This is my environment and these are the starting points for my work. I think of myself as more of an action/reaction painter. I make a lot of intuitive moves in the painting process and then make other decisions in response to them. I get really excited when things go wrong in a painting for me. I like to be challenged in the working process to see where I can take a painting.
What are you having the most trouble resolving?
I probably have the most trouble trying to complete a painting to my liking. When I think I am making some pretty good decisions about something in the studio, I will make it a few times. Usually that feeling will wear off when I actually sit with the work and I can dismiss it easily. Every now and again I will make something that continues to sit with me whether or not I am in the studio. These moments are the most exciting and probably when I could consider a painting complete.
Untitled, 30"x38" oil, acrylic, spray paint,
acrylic grass and collage on canvas. 2013
Do you experiment with different materials a lot or do you prefer to work within certain parameters?
The hierarchy of any material over another is absent in my studio practice. I am drawn to many different materials and what they do when they interact with one another in a painting. I don’t just throw anything into a painting, so I guess I have some rules when working. I still have respect for oil paint as a historical material in relation to the history of painting. But I am also very interested in mark making with different materials and tools. It is in this investigation that I seem to experiment more and more in my studio practice.
What does the future hold for this work?
I don’t really know yet. I am going to spend more time with this work and make decisions when I am in the studio. I hope to explore some larger works to see how I will react to the scale.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I would like to thank Valerie and Studio Critical for this great opportunity.
Untitled, 18"x 22" oil, acrylic, spray paint,
crayon, graphite and collage on canvas. 2012