These latest paintings continue the Landscapes & Journeys narration. This narrative approach takes the form of documentation and testimony, as in The Marshes that depicts the harm done to this gorgeous, important wildlife habitat and the forced evacuation of the Ma'dan people who have lived there for over 5000 years. Some of these paintings bear witness to places, once the most beautiful on earth, that now struggle to co-exist with the effects of our political follies, and our determination to alter climate conditions to an extreme. These are places and narratives that, for one reason or another, have touched me deeply—to the extent of expanding and changing my own interior landscape.
I paint what I love: patterns I see all around me via ancient calligraphic scripts of all languages (I invent all of the calligraphy in my images so as to avoid any possibility of cultural and religious insult) found on stone friezes, cloth remnants, ancient papyrus; buried traces of lost civilizations; nature's own history as recorded in her stratigraphy; the list is long. I also paint what concerns me. What has come to be a recurrent theme revolves around forced emigrations, both current and those dating back to the beginning of our earliest human ancestors. They make appearances as ghost-like apparitions, as seen in Exodus and Exile. Sometimes, as in Tien Shan, they are faint whispers, barely heard.
As one of the tribe of process-oriented artists, I love getting lost and found as layer upon layer, sometimes upwards of 30 or more, of finely controlled applications of paint slowly coax the image into being. As with travel, where so often the unplanned turns off the road bring the richest—so too in painting. It is akin to a kind of cosmic visitation when the paint accomplishes something on its own, something I would never have thought of, and pulls the image together into being. Those moments, those longed-for accidents always astound me—that amazing, mysterious collaboration that simply happens, if you let it. Sadly, in digital and print formats, the temporal aspect of the paintings—arrived at via the magic of micaceous paints—is lost. Whether used sparingly or predominantly, the paintings light up at certain times of the day, or when you walk past them and they briefly illumine. This gives them a kind of life, a kind of breath.