When I consider my approach to painting, I recall a lecture given by Alexander Nemerov, former History of Art professor at Yale, on the subject of phenomenology. He spoke of viewing the world through a child's eyes, as if seeing every element in it for the first time. As a young artist, I retain and hope never to lose that approach to the landscape around me. I believe that no light condition or atmosphere is to be taken for granted, and that even the most mundane objects command one's scrutiny.
My practice combines painting on site with continued work in the studio. Both locations present challenges. Painting in the landscape is tantamount to fielding a thousand questions simultaneously, with so many tones and forms requiring attention at once. Back in the studio, the test turns to reworking the piece, harmonizing its elements to create a successful painting while maintaining the vitality of the original subject.
While I think of myself as a constant student of the landscape, an education beyond the fine arts has influenced my approach to painting. As a former architecture student, I tend towards structured motifs by incorporating manmade forms or finding defined geometries in pure landscape.
More recently, I have begun to explore how I can articulate my understanding of space through painting. A new series or "Mind" pieces is composed from imagination, and incorporates elements such as perspective and motion lines to indicate how I construct a three-dimensional world on a flat surface. I am also experimenting with the idea of "synesthesia," a neurological condition in which sensory stimuli trigger seemingly unrelated sensory responses. For instance, sound can evoke color, or taste can evoke touch. As a synesthete, I am beginning to integrate my own color and texture responses to sound and words into paintings, to create a more "multi-sensory" experience of a place.
Having completed a post-graduate degree in curating and worked in several museums, I often question my own approach to making art. Although I am by no means a conceptual artist, I do not think that representational painting lacks concept or complexity of feeling. Rather, I think there is something quite profound in drawing a viewer's attention to a moment through the fundamentals of temperature, atmosphere, and light. That one person's experience of a place can evoke the same sensation for another through the surface of a canvas astounds me. I believe that relaying the most basic products of human perception is a powerful concept in itself.