Recycled Doors and Other Building Materials
My paintings represent an effort to provide a break from day-to-day "functional" concerns; and present an object, idea, action, emotion, (anything really), in a way it may not have been considered before. That's the philosophy. The joy though is working - without stress - on things that are meaningful and mine.. No clients, City officials, or contractors to please; no endless permitting processes; and usually no real deadlines. This is a welcome change after my previous career: Kind of like Happy Hour after a long day of work.
I strive to create an interesting image that may spark the curiosity of a viewer at a glance and prove to be worth a longer look and/or repeated viewing. Interest may be generated by some combination of composition, form, color, subject matter, contrasting elements (busy / simple, inside / outside, light / dark, geometric / organic, and so on), repetitive shapes, size, materials, or just plain luck. My paintings will typically include references to relationships between the built, natural, and abstract environments. I'm not really concerned with "style" or most traditional studio techniques; and I missed the class where they taught that a frame should go on the outside of a painting.
I do paintings with water-based paints on salvaged hollow-core doors and other recycled building materials. This keeps the doors out of the landfill (at least for a while), and they work well for the hard-edged approach I like to use. Also, I like the idea of windows and doors conveying us – visually and/or physically – between the security of a familiar space to the less certain world outside. The proportions of standard doors, however, are rarely ideal for most compositions, and I want to demonstrate that this media is a flexible, viable alternative to canvas. So I frequently assemble multiple doors - or parts of doors - patched and repaired with scrap lumber, into more appropriate proportions: usually approximating "golden rectangles". Compositions often work with golden spirals, Fibonacci series numbers, mean and extreme ratios, etc. Anyway, it all ties nicely with the whole built/natural/abstract idea: Trust me.
Recently, I saw an exhibit of work by indigenous Australians who – for various reasons – only began completing or showing their art when they were beyond the age of 50. The exhibit was called “Emerging Elders”. I guess – if I need a label – “Emerging Elder” is something to shoot for. Emerging is the tricky part though: Isn’t it?