“…drawing, for me, is the beginning of everything.” Ellsworth Kelly
Drawing helps me better understand the patterns, textures, shapes and structures found all around us. Drawing is a way for me to slowly discover internal and external forms or to work quickly to simply record an impression. In the end, my drawings are either faithful reproductions of what is being observed or used as a point of departure to explore, modify, combine, interpret what is seen. Whether it is a finished product or used as a reference source for making paintings or sculptures, drawing acts as the underlying support structure upon which my art works are planned and built.
My sculptures begin with sketches, drawings and photographs. These images are used to guide the process as a sculpture is being created.
Larger sculptures require detailed design drawings as well as maquettes or scale models. Many of my works are best suited to a fabrication process which involves cutting sheet metal into various shapes, then bending, rolling, curving these shapes and joining the pieces together. Due to the equipment and skills required, my larger sculptures are usually subcontracted to art fabricators. As the work progresses my job is to oversee the process and make design adjustments as required.
Intermediate size works are made using metal rods, hardware, metal, wire mesh, plastic, fabric, as well as other materials. These works are made using basic hand and power tools. Drawings are usually referred to help shape the materials into sculptural forms. The finished sculptures will have elements of the original inspiration for the work but are not intended to be precise copies of the design drawings. Intuition and spontaneity are as much a part of the process as are my sketches and drawings.
Smaller works are made in a variety of ways. An original is sculpted using clay, plaster, concrete, wood or plastic. Many of the works are then cast in metal. These castings are made in limited editions by a fine art foundry. In addition to having works cast at a foundry, scanning and 3D printing services are also used to make smaller sculptures. The 3D works can be finished pieces on their own, used as patterns for metal casting, or serve as maquettes or scale models in the production of larger sculptures.
The Dendritic Series is inspired by dendritic (treelike) patterns. These paintings combine both abstract and representational design elements. Each painting is built layer by layer; the underpainting of a previous layer blending with and at times showing through each successive layer. During the process some wet paint is scraped off, while other areas have more paint applied. This results in textured, stylized designs that merge with abstract backgrounds creating a flowing movement of varied hues, tones and contrasts.
Another ongoing painting project is the Icon Series. For these works a small design drawing is used to sketch a lattice design of curving white lines over a dark background on a large canvas. This sketch serves as the internal structure upon which the painting is built. Pastels are then applied and coated with dabs of clear varnish to create washes of color. There is a building up of layers as more lines, color and clear varnish are applied. If successful, the finished work is a single shape enclosing smaller forms that appear to be internally lit; both solid and translucent, static and in flux.
I still enjoy working outdoors (plein air) to produce studies and paintings directly from nature. Over the years I have found that working in both representational and abstract styles has helped me to better understand and develop my creative process.
Digital Drawing, Painting, Sculpture Design:
Besides traditional art making materials and methods, I now also use an iPad to make drawings, paintings and to design sculptures. Digital images give me the opportunity to make multiple versions of a single design because each step of the process can be saved.
Whether it is drawing, sculpting or painting, my goal is to create works that strike a balance between what is seen and what is imagined.