And so it is that only now am I ready to look back. What are the themes I've been choosing to paint, and why? Obviously, if it were completely clear, then I could just write an essay and be done with it. Art, for me at least, is partly about finding ways to express what wanders out from the unknown landscape within. Yes, I often work from photos, but they're my photos, and by the time they're on the canvas, they are not what they depict. They use reality as a window through which to peer, like through a smudgy cracked window, into the roiling, dangerous, useless, magical, foreign and utterly familiar world within.
This painting falls into a category that keeps recurring. It has something to do with the intersection of the natural world and the built world. In our devastated world, we are accustomed to thinking of humans as serially flattening "nature." Yes, we do that. I personally just participated in a long afternoon of chainsawing and weed whacking which ended in a brush fire barbecue. I'm not innocent here (though to be fair, we were trying to thin a fire-prone dog-hair forest and free the rest of the trees to be healthier). Anyway, what I'm trying to get at is that the natural world (as opposed to the human one, which is a distinction that is not nearly nuanced enough) has its own weapons and its own relentless integrity. There is something comforting in seeing the bones of trees capturing the bones of boat lines and wave-twisting them beyond human use.
Right now, at this point in my life, I'm most captured by the paintings I do of abandoned cars, rope-entwined driftwood, and fenced animals. Something about the interplay of destruction and rebirth. Something about decay and hope.