Having so many inspiring artists, and the beautiful mountains and desert surroundings it’s hard to be brief about where I look for creative momentum. Frida Kahlo, Francis Bacon, Hieronymus Bosch, Paul Klee, and Jasper Johns all have works that I find turn my gears.
My compositions are visions of people, animals, or ideas that reveal themselves through my surroundings. The knots in a wood panel, the puddle of water in a dirt path, the smokey swirl of marble in a moody wall. They are faces that smirk, animals playing, anamorphic scenes, or secret characters. They revisit in dreams, commanding to be painted and will not rest until they grace a canvas.
I sketch the visions, as soon as I can, or describe it in words to sketch later. Researching the subject matter helps as well, an environment or time period, because of being such a quick flash, may need some grounding for similarity. I project sketches onto a canvas to get placement of focal point, or sketch another version directly on the canvas. At times I will do some test paintings that are smaller and then enlarge these to a more grand scale.
Instead of working with the empty ground of white canvas, I paint with cadmium, yellow or red, or blues greens and blacks depending on the mood of the piece. The underpainting peeks through and gives a voice to the piece, a light or tunnel from beyond. I work mostly with acrylics to get an idea down quickly with color, but also work in oils for richness of color, blending quality, and effects over time. As of late I’ve been experimenting with gold leaf, achieving a texture and depth reminiscent of the old religious panels studied in Art History.