As is true for most artists, for me, painting is an obsession.
I grew up in a family of artists, many of whom were successful artists and musicians in their own right. I remember frequent family trips to museums and exhibits. Artistic expression wasn't so much encouraged as it was expected.
At the same time, the San Francisco Bay area where I grew up was the epicenter of an explosive evolution in American culture. Nineteen-sixties Berkeley was an incubator for pushing the boundaries of free speech and expression.
I became aware of concepts such as the collective consciousness, the unconscious and the vast possibilities of self-expression. In this environment, I felt empowered to explore my deepening commitment to abstract expressionism.
The value of realism is that it provides the discipline and foundation from which exploring the world of abstract becomes not only less intimidating, but more exciting.
I intentionally work to discover the essence and meaning of something rather than to simply replicate a subject. I am inspired by a feeling of something, somewhere - a thought or experience. I begin; sometimes with a sketch, sometimes not. I apply paint to the surface using bold and energetic strokes, scraping through, eliminating and adding until the work shows me it is finished.
Dega's remark on "getting lost" resonates with me: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing, does the painter do good things."
I am inspired by great artists such as Joan Mitchell, Eva Hess, Robert Motherwell, Rothko William de Kooning, Gerhard Richter, and CY Tombly.
Mostly I am a product of my early childhood and those who showed me their vision through their eyes and helped me to make it my own.