The general area where I like to have my work categorized is as bright, buoyant, pleasant but not too pretty, not in your face, somewhere above the fray, somewhat akin to Matisse’s “armchair” attitude. Abstract elements are usually mixed with figurative elements but are separate on occasion.
Procedure for works in progress: Most of the improvisational activity is done during the initial stage of drawing in a stream of conscious manner on small sized paper with a ball point pen. Shape, proportion and general composition are established there. Because the drawings are done quickly, they show a lyrical and flowing quality. Enlarging the drawings on canvas and then painting in areas without a trial color sketch helps give the work directness and vigor. Painting over colors for adjustment helps give them a richness that doesn’t occur when enlarging color sketches. Color balance is worked out on large scale, not on a small scale.
Working in commercial art for 5 years, teaching printmaking for 15 years
and design for 10 years were a strong influence on the graphic character
of most paintings. Continued practice at figure drawing over the years
has shown a gradual change with many different points of view. This formed
a strong base for a “Flight of Fancy” frame of mind. Being
involved in teaching painting at University of Notre Dame for 31 years
kept my mind busy focused on beginning and developing problems and finding
a variety of solutions.