These paintings represent the vital core of my work as an artist. They are relatively small pieces going from 14"x12" to 56"x42". I make each frame often using old house moldings, mirror frames our building the frame from scratch and applying traditional water gilded finishes in either silver or gold. These substantial frames create a context and drama for the paintings to live within.
The bulk of these paintings are created within the portrait format which firmly places them with in an established historic tradition and at the same time provides me with a vehicle to endlessly pull and tug out my own peculiar visual vocabulary. The figure, the landscape and still life all come together in these poetic and imaginary portraits to create a sort of secular icon that links the ordinary to the mystical.
Painting the city has been an ongoing experience of staying connected to the community where I live. Making paintings of Grand Rapids is a way to celebrate the growth and development of a midwestern city as it becomes an unique cultural leader.
These drawings are the evidence of my search for the next painting. I begin each drawing with only a vague notion of my path. It is as if the images slowly emerge from a deep recess within my subconscious as I light scratch at the paper's surface with my dime store #2 pencil sharpened to a needle like point. As my characters and story gradually arrives on the surface of my paper my touch becomes heaver and darker and my commitment becomes stronger. If I find the drawing particularly fetching I then transfer it to a prepared panel and begin a new painting. The drawing then becomes my humble and quiet companion as go through the long and slow process of transforming a blank gessoed wooden panel into a finished painting.