Recent Work

Assembly of a Complex Organism Image 0

Assembly of a Complex Organism

My process when working on abstract pieces like this is an exercise in never, ever forcing the painting to be anything other than what it wants to be. Perhaps that sounds like I'm attributing too much significance to subconscious processes. But for those of you who do paint, you may know what I'm talking about.

Whenever I try to force a painting in some direction, I can feel it. The painting doesn't want to cooperate; it fights me; it forces me off-course and into a creative ditch, after which my only hope of making any more progress is to back up and start listening.

I'm not always great at this, but with pieces like this I can exercise this muscle in a more pronounced way. Because, really, with impressionistic or abstract pieces, it may seem like you could go in any direction, but that could not be further from the truth. With these kinds of pieces, in my experience, you have an even narrower path to walk, and you must walk it carefully.

So, what is it about? After finishing this painting, I thought on it a good while, and it put to mind the history of life and of evolution. All life on this planet started as single cells, which eventually grew together to cooperate and build larger organisms. We are nothing but the collection of trillions of microscopic organisms, assembling and cooperating toward the goal of sustaining a larger lifeform that they can never have any awareness of. This painting, to me, reminds me of that process--of assembling and cooperating, of beginning a partnership of separate pieces and seemingly disparate goals in order to sustain and build something greater and more complex.