Thoughts on Painting
I was listening to Charlie Rose interviewing the jazz musician Wynton Marsalis last night. Wynton was speaking about Louis Armstrong and how he had reinvented jazz with his original sound and sense of timing; he had given new colour to jazz and had created a whole new depth of feeling. This is the same way I relate to the originality of Juan Miro, Jackson Pollock, Morris Louis or Hans Hofmann, painters from whom I have derived inspiration for colour and new ways of drawing. I also derive the same sort of inspiration from artists of my own generation now known as the New New Painting group since the late1980s. The NNPs innovations brought forward fresh experiences that expand our vision, renewing our awareness of life itself. This spirit of renewal is at the heart of my need to paint. I aim to empower and uplift the human spirit, and to express a sense of creative resistance against the complacency of the human sprit itself. I search for this renewal of experiences through the process of the painting medium.
Art for me, like jazz, is primarily about creating and empowering lasting feelings through invention. My improvisation is based on principles of painting that are centuries old. These principles provide the foundation from which I have developed my own vocabulary, leading to the evolution of my painting practice. I rely on my aesthetic experience to guide me in my judgment of goodness, and my experience of other art and the quality of those experiences to guide me in assessing the comparative quality of my work and that of others.
The following are my thoughts on some of the contributing factors in making my work, followed by an addendum, which discusses the rudimentary principles and artistic environment. For those less experienced art readers, it may in fact be more helpful if read first.