In the past few years, travels in Europe and Ireland have had a profound visual effect on my work, encouraging a long-abiding interest in medieval and gothic forms, historical European religious subject matter, and European history. I began to aggressively explore the use of alternative, often organic materials like wax, tar, wood, and fabric to achieve a more elemental and tactile connection with the work. The exploration of ideas about memory, history, and the passage of time have become an important part of this process.
My paintings often include combinations of anatomical imagery, memorial sculpture, romantic symbolism, and religious iconography. The works are created using deep supports, like boxes, which stand out from the wall and assert themselves in the viewer’s space. In many cases, the physical qualities of the work are meant to suggest the physical weightiness associated with monuments and memorial sculpture.
Collaged materials, including heavy fabrics and printed matter, contribute to the initial surface of the work. After this weathered, heavily worked, abstract surface is established, it is sealed in a layer of beeswax, and the more figurative elements of the imagery are rendered in tar and varnish. The organic qualities of the wood, wax, and tar communicate a feeling of timelessness. The process of building, weathering, eroding and layering is important to the work’s identity — creating a history that can be traced, investigated, and experienced by the viewer.