I began experimenting with the palette knife about 10 years ago in an effort to capture textures that I couldn’t achieve with a brush. Now, I find that I am no longer satisfied with what I call “flat painting” so, at the most basic level, my work is an exploration of the medium of oil paint and the method of applying it to canvas with a knife. There is an element of experimentation every time I paint--to see how far I can push the medium to achieve the idea I wish to convey.
I work in many different series, most of them ongoing, and each beginning with a different concept. Inspiration comes from many sources including old walls and dilapidated buildings, signs, rocks and rusted things. I am fascinated with the accidental beauty found in debris. Subject matter varies but method and medium remain consistent. My strokes differ considerably according to the series or to the subject. I try continually to invent new strokes and new ways to work the pigment with the palette knife.
I work wet into wet, layering thicker pigment over thinner pigment. This becomes a journey with unpredictable detours and outcomes which must be resolved along the way. Once I begin, I work spontaneously and intuitively, allowing the painting itself to lead me to the next stroke. For me, painting with some degree of speed is a necessary part of the process in working wet into wet. It allows me to be able to scratch and scrape into the wet surface and allows the layers of pigment to interact in ways that can’t happen once a painting is dry. I like the final results to show the energy and emotion that are a part of the creation of that painting. The residue of accidental happenings can also contribute to keeping my work fresh, exciting, alive and full of unplanned surprises.