I believe that by embracing a realist or figurative approach to my art that I’m carrying on a great historical tradition of creating art to inform, narrate and express one’s own feelings and reactions of their own time and place in a specific cultural milieu.. Art isn’t created in a vacuum and often it’s a reaction to sociological, political and cultural events that an artist lives through at any given time. The problem that contemporary artists face is all the history of the various art movements that one has at their disposal. With so many “isms” at their disposal, today’s artists must possibly question even more profoundly their own personal vision and the means to express it. I’m mainly a “plein air” painter, painting on the spot rather than working from photographs. I find it challenging to work from nature with the changing light and weather conditions. I'm laoth to subsribe to any specific art movement as I enjoy not only figurative art but abstract as well. I respect Jackson Pollock and William Dekooning's works. Yet, I have great admiration for Edgar Degas who explored all sorts of media in his quest to express his creative vision. Some other favorite artists include Kathe Kollwitz, Lucian Freud, Lovis Corinth, John Singer Sargent and Camille Corot. Even though I've been painting for a number of years now, I feel that my "style" is still evolving from an earlier linear style to a more painterly style.I firmly believe that the "bones" of any art is sound draftmanship and that I try to practice on a daily basis. Besides oils and drawing, I enjoy watercolors and other media such as pastels and mixed media. I also enjoy printmaking, especially etching, dry point and monotypes. Each media has it's own unique charms and challenges.
Primarily, my art is autobiographical. I have no interest in attempting to create a “pretty” sofa size picture for another person. The range of peoples’ aesthetic perceptions is too great in our culture and is something I have no inclination to fathom. It’s sometimes a stretch to understand one’s own feelings and to be true to my own goals. I try to be honest in showing what I feel is important so that others may pause and consider what I choose to paint. There is a bit of a “Zen” moment in much of what I paint that might ordinarily be thought of as trivial or not worthy of note or a second glance. Having lived through some of the true horrors of the late 20th century (assassinations and rumors of war, etc...) I wish to challenge what is deemed important by our media obsessed age and to still show wonderment and awe at what we may overlook in the mad rush of our daily lives.
As a Vietnam veteran, I hope to record my own search and come to terms with my experiences through the act of creating and seeking out places that give me a sense of peace and security in an increasingly insecure world. I painted a still life homage to veterans a few years ago on Veterans Day using my own uniform that I wore in Vietnam. I called this painting “Good Bye to All That” after Robert Graves World War 1 anti-war autobiography. At that time I held out the hope that I had “safely” put my own war experiences behind me. Unfortunately, recent events have proved otherwise. Many of the emotions that I experienced in Vietnam had suddenly come home to roost as a result of September 11th. Wishing to find some peace of mind, I painted a small landscape down by Otisco Lake in Central New York. This was my way of finding solace and trying to come to terms with that event by seeking out a place of peace and beauty. I plan on continuing to explore this theme in future paintings. I hope that others may enjoy my art and also find that same sense of peace that my painting affords me.