Painting doesn’t strike me as the basis for a career. It isn’t a profession. It’s a way of bringing myself back to my own nature again and again, in unpredictable ways. It trains me to be acutely aware of the way things are. It wakes me up to the wholeness of life in a way that silences my analytical, conceptual mind. At its best, it is a direct seeing into the nature of things, reconnecting me with the mystery of being. When a painting works, it breathes with its own life in a way that has nothing to do with “significance” or “meaning” or its role as a symbolic act. Life itself isn’t a symbol, it doesn’t “mean” something, and the greatest paintings embody the inexpressible wholeness of life. A painting is either alive, or it isn’t, and this mysterious quality of life is something the critical mind can’t pin down or dissect or explain.
From the seventies though the nineties, alienated by much of what was going on in art and art criticism, and disturbed by the prevalence of conceptual concerns in the making of art, I simply painted as a sort of meditation, a boot camp for heightened awareness, a way of staying true to myself. In the past ten years, painting has attracted more respect and attention, so five years ago I tentatively began showing my work in places as diverse as San Diego, Wichita, Cincinnati, Manhattan, and London. I’ve won awards. I’ve had an essay on art published. I’ve been praised in print. I will have a couple solo show this year.