In 1993 I started using the technique of reverse painting on plexiglas. It is a very exciting medium with many unusual qualities. Being a less traditional painting medium than canvas and paper, and because of this mediums unique requirements this process puts me right on my edge, fully engaged with the moment where I feel most free.
When viewing a work on plexiglas one is immediately struck by the vivid and luminous color. The painting is viewed from the opposite side from which it was created and this turning the piece around dramatically changes the color. Light hits the surface and makes the paintings glow brilliantly from within.
Plexiglas can be very challenging and somewhat unforgiving. This is because it is unlike canvas where the artist can erase, layer and build to manipulate an image over and over until they are satisfied. With reverse painting on plexiglas the first strokes are usually the final ones. This promotes spontaneity, an energetic loose brushstroke and an expressiveness that allows the viewer a more direct emotional experience with the painting.
I use subjects such as landscape, forms in nature, the human figure and other wild animals as a way to think about and understand the world I live in. My passion for color and ongoing fascination with nature continue to inform my process. Color has a way of accessing our emotions without effort or thought and therefore can be healing to us on a deeper level.
I frame many of my pieces in recycled, authentic wood windows that I find in salvage yards all over California. This keeps me searching for the next rare and beautiful frame. It also keeps my compositions evolving because I never know just what unusual shape I will find. This is such an exciting part of my process. It's like going on a treasure hunt. When people must part with these old windows it is understandably for them because function has become more important than form. For me, using them as frames brings rich meaning to my art. Framing isn't a secondary part of the process. It is an integral part of each piece. I see an inherent strength and soulful quality in their design and purpose. These treasures from the past have weathered many storms and continue to do their job of letting in all that light.
Occasionally I have been given windows to paint by families who wish to keep something from a house they grew up in or a house they want to remember. To me these windows tell a story about our shared past. About honoring what came before. About remembering what has been left behind. About a time when things were made by hand with care and craftsmanship. I often wonder when I am looking at these windows who also might have looked through them and what they might have seen.
By combining the older and newer materials I get the opportunity to express my love for both and my desire to bring them together to create something new.