I live in the Piedmont region of North Carolina where four
distinct seasons divide the year, and rural life meets urban life
at a fence. In the right light, these conditions make for great
I find myself constantly observing the activity and changes in
my environment. Man has imposed his various control and
containment measures, often to train the energies of nature into
production for consumption. Cows are the docile modern
descendants of once great wild beasts, converted now to
walking storage units. I feel the pathos of this captivity in my
It’s the interplay between nature’s own ways, and man’s
control, that provides the interest for so much of my painting.
Instinctively I’m searching for an image of balance, where
nature is encouraged to yield in a context of respect and
reverence. In our epoch, ancient rituals are replaced by
calculated conversion of land and animals for monetary gain.
Without an open spirit of care and reciprocity, a sacred trust
and balance is broken. In truth, there is a price to pay for this
disregard. It seems to me all things are always moving toward a
dynamic equilibrium, in the cycles of what we experience as
There is painting where the artist carries something “known”
into the canvas. Then there is painting where the artist is
surprised by what comes out of the canvas.
Landscape painting, like all painting, works on abstract
principles. Occasionally I prefer to set aside any intent to mimic
what my brain thinks my eye sees, and explore the open
universe of pure abstraction. In this way of working, I feel a
parallel universe to Nature’s, where the elements push and pull
at their own velocities, all relating in a contained metaphorical
system born of pure intuition, feeling, and memory. As the artist,
I feel more a vehicle of transmission than an originator.
Conflict characterizes the self, hence the world. Conflict is
always a profound misunderstanding. Art can help us realize,
even if only through metaphor, the resolution of conflict. This
represents a stage of growth toward a consciousness of
wholeness and peace. I associate the creation and absorption
of art with healing.
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