It was in May of 2012 that I returned to painting. For the roughly 10 years prior I had been creating digital images. Pixelly things in MS Paint. Mostly abstracts and abstracted landscapes. I loved them. Still do. The process was the real delight. I would try to do something, the simple software would do its best to comply, often coming up short, but to surprising effect. The back and forth with the limitations of that crude graphics program became almost a duet with the machine.
But those images were creatures of the screen. I tried printing them: they came out flat - without the back-lighting of the monitor behind them they lost a portion of their drama and impact. I made light-boxes for them, but they were big and clunky and drew focus away from the image. Also, the immateriality of digital images niggled at me. I longed to create physical things. I wrestled with those Djinns for a decade.
That May, mostly out of frustration, I took some plywood scraps out to the shed and began mucking around. Here were things - physical things - with texture and tone and heft. Whispering out from between the strokes were bits of forms and formations, suggestions of the natural constructions - the shapes the world is made of. In short order I moved from brushes to plastering tools - hawks, scrapers and trowels. They were more adept at yielding unexpected results. Here again was the duet I knew, the back and forth with the medium, the process. The discovery of suggestions of form from the micro to the macro - sometimes simultaneously, and the reactions, this continuous feedback loop. It's that intoxicating magic of something appearing where there was nothing before, all from a pigmented gesture of steel onto a plane of wood. Something of the nature of the world and its making is revealed, and, with luck, a tip of the hand behind it.