Thursday, June 16, 2011


Untitled (P-1017), 2010, oil on linen, 12 X 14"

What are you working on in your studio right now?

I just shipped out a bunch of paintings for an exhibition in Kansas City, but I am still working on this same body of work. The work has continued in the same vein for the past 5-6 years, evolving and changing slowly along the way. I work mainly in two sizes--large around 75 x 85 inches, and small around 13 x 15 inches. I am really focused on the larger works right now. In the more recent works, the forms are floating and disconnected from the four sides of the canvas. I want this sort of abstract-image to be lightweight and off of the ground, and I am experimenting a bit with how these things get layered and built. I want the form to be both graphic and three-dimensional--to open and close

studio wall, drawings

Can you describe your working routine?
I do not have an overly rigid studio schedule. I generally get to the studio in the late morning and try to work through the day and night when I can. I was an athlete growing up, so I think of going into the studio like I am going to practice or a game--I have to be rested, hydrated, fed, and in a good state of mental and physical being. In the studio my time is spent looking, drawing and writing in my sketchbook, and making moves on one or two paintings at a time.

Can you describe your studio space and how, if at all, that affects your work?

I have been in this studio for about a year and half and am really pleased with it, would like to stay here for some time. The studio is in the northwest corner of Brooklyn, in Greenpoint, so there is sky space and light around the building and the windows, one can see some distance away. There is also a shipping company that has a parking lot under and near one of my windows where trucks move in and out these colored shipping containers all day. They position them in tightly and then take them out the next day. I don't directly reference observed elements in my paintings, but my experience of space, color, and light makes its way into the work implicitly.

Untitled (P-1015), 2010, oil on panel, 12 X 14"

Tell me about your process, where things begin, how they evolve etc.

I build forms over time. Visual ideas start in my sketchbook, get played with and varied. I make quick ink drawings on paper, some get saved and many tossed. Then I work into the oil paintings--large or small depending on the form and idea. I aim to find an image within abstraction. Geometry is the starting point, but I try to let all of these other things bleed into it. The small paintings get built up over time. These are thick, dense, and have shallow spaces. There is a packing in of information and energy. The large paintings move in a very different way. In these I get more into the physical and gestural activity of making a painting, into my body. These become more tweaked and open, and hopefully more lightweight. The energy is moving outward instead of in. In both sizes I am left with a form or thing, a sort of projection, something internal made visible

work in progess

What are you having the most trouble resolving?

Painting is always difficult. I might succeed with a painting, but I often fail and destroy or reground works. Large paintings are especially difficult because everything shows. This is important to the process.

Do you experiment with different materials a lot or do you prefer to work within certain parameters?

I keep my materials pretty consistent--oil paint on canvas and linen. My tools vary a bit and the handling of them changes slowly here and there. I am not interested in repeating myself, but I am trying to build a language over time. Because of this, much of what I do needs to remain the same so that I can see what I am doing and saying.

Untitled (P-1105), 2010, oil on canvas, 75 X 85"

What does the future hold for this work?

I have a few projects coming up where these works will be shown, including an exhibition at Dolphin Gallery in Kansas City in June 2011 and an exhibition at the Gahlberg Gallery in Chicago in May 2012

Is there anything else you would like to add?
Thanks for asking about my work and process


  1. I enjoyed reading this conversation. My favorite parts are 1) the use of the phrase "making moves" and 2) P-1105. Both of you keep up the Good Work.

  2. Love the analogy to being an athlete, Absolutely stunning paintings. Thanks ValB for the interview and this blog, love it.

  3. This blog and the work and views within have been serving as a kind of support system. It is essential so thank you.

  4. I am happy to find your blog site! Great work!