With my work, I am striving to find harmony and balance
amidst the chaos.
Working in encaustics as a medium serves my artistic purpose
in the most direct way. It is both fluid and durable. I attempt to coax my imagination
to expose whatever is lying beneath the surface and attempt to bring it to life.
With the encaustic paint, I go through a series of steps and a process of layering
paint, making marks, scratches, and brush strokes to build up the surface of the
support. At the same time I also do lot of scrapping and literally scratching
the surface. By starting with a blank support, by layering and stripping away
the excess, I can hopefully get to the essence of what I am trying to say. In
my minds eye, I am paring away the excess to reveal the depth. Over time
a painting emerges that has a life of its own, its own essence, its own presence.
That is my goal.
Hopefully, art moves the viewer to tears and/or calls the
viewer to action. My inspiration comes from many places: world mythologies, poetry,
Shakespeare, Buddhist thought, and current events. Using poetry or a newspaper
article as inspiration, I let my mind range. Two years ago, the 108 beads of the
Buddhist mala (rosary) inspired me to begin painting a series of 108 scrolls called
the Heart Series. Growing up in Canada, I was exposed to Inuit and Northwest Coast
Indian art, which has greatly influenced my thinking and visual aesthetic. The
Inuit of Northern Canada believe when they carve into stone, there is a spirit,
a human or animal figure, a story that is, in effect, released by carving away
the excess. Iconically, the Haida have a specific visual language that orders
their universe. An Inuit shaman said, The only true wisdom lives far from
mankind, out in the great loneliness and it can be reached only by suffering.
Privation and suffering alone can open the mind of a man to all that is hidden
to others. To me this means, that to test ones resolve, mettle, sense
of being, the struggle with ones inner demons, our doubts and insecurities
we have to go a place, both physically and mentally where one alone can discover
their true nature. We suffer everyday, why not accept and understand the suffering
and use it to our own advantage. It is important to me that art be physically
and mentally and, dare I say, spiritually resonant.
Mark Tobey, the painter, said, The dimension
that counts for the creative person is the space he creates within himself. This
inner space is closer to the infinite than the other, and it is the privilege
of the balanced mindand the search for an equilibrium is essentialto
be as aware of inner space as he is of outer space. My work, I think, is
simultaneously chaotic and serene. I want the work to become a meditation of sorts.
I want to draw the viewer into the maelstrom and find calm. Perhaps they still
find chaos. I am searching for that spark to make my work vibrant and transcendent.