I often draw in other places. It’s when I’m on the move, outside the studio that I get my inspiration. The more I draw and attempt to capture what I see, the more I see. I start to see the relationships of shapes, the curves, the angles, the striking contrast as well as the incremental gradation of values from black to white, the subtle creep of colors from one to another in the sky or across a wall and then the sharp punctuation of an abrupt change. All this acuity comes with the act of drawing and the attention required to look at something and draw it.
It is back in the studio that I make use of these drawings from far places to make paintings. My studio, formerly overlooking San Francisco from its industrial edge, is now a solitary cube of space that looks out onto a small garden—a garden that I love but have no wish to draw. So I must bring life in from the outside—imagery from walks or drives or travels that enter through my drawings. Sometimes I augment this imagery with photographs to give me specifics of place when I’m moving too swiftly to draw it all. This that I bring into the studio is all a note-taking process. In the studio I explore possibilities, consolidate ideas through more drawings and, once inside a painting, push and pull my imagery as I invent my way to completion of a painting or a series of paintings.
My cityscapes, often views at dusk, represent an outgrowth of my earlier still lifes, now on a grand scale. No figures are in sight, only implied through the sense of habitation, the windows in buildings or the rush of cars. There is a sense of stillness and solitude, almost like a magnified still life.
The peopled paintings deal with life in motion—often a noisy chaotic hubbub—everyone jostling together in public places whether at aquariums, airports, train stations or gambling casinos. The structure of the space is particular in each of these paintings, but the figures within are developed out of drawings, scribbles and imagination in the process of painting.
Whatever the subject matter, I am interested in the expressive nature of painting. I want to convey the emotional presence that I find in the stillness of the cityscape. I want to feel the space between things and hear the silence. In using the figure I want to create a range of possibilities for expressive interaction that speaks of the human condition in our contemporary world. Painting is my way of articulating intangible feelings about ways of relating to the world.