Can you briefly describe what you do?
Can you tell me something of your day-to-day working practices?
Basically, I have three types of days that all start the same way. I grab a cup of coffee and head upstairs to my attic workroom where I check e-world – stats, comments, email, Facebook, Twitter, etc. If something strikes me as blog-worthy, I’ll post it and then walk the dogs.
Day 1: I put the computer to sleep and start looking at the paintings in progress. Clean the palette, organize my workspace, and read my notes from the previous visit to the canvas to pick up the thread where I’ve left off. If I think of something that I might like to Google while I’m painting, I type the search terms in on my manual Royal Safari typewriter. Generally I find if I let myself look up everything that crosses my mind, I waste a lot of time. At the end of the day, when I review my typed list, most of the things I was thinking about weren’t very important. Every so often I check Twitter and email, but I try not to get too engaged. As I paint, I take notes about the process, and I use my phone to photograph the paintings. Sometimes I open the images in Photoshop to experiment with different color ideas, then I go back to the canvas. I wash the brushes at the end of the day.
Day 2. Once a week I go to exhibitions, meet people for coffee, have studio visits and talk about art.
Day 3. I teach two 10-hour days a week (30 weeks a year) in the Visual Arts Department at Eastern Connecticut State University. I’ve been teaching there for eleven years.
At the end of each day, I walk the dogs, have dinner, and then settle in for some reading and television. Right now I’m in the fifth season of Lost. I often work on the sketchbooks while I watch TV.
How long have you been working in that way?
I’ve been working like this since 2007 when I turned the attic into a studio and started blogging.
Which artists have had the greatest affect on your work?
When I was growing up, my parents loved abstract painting and hung posters of Paul Klee, Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse, Piet Mondrian, and Pablo Picasso throughout the house. I’ve always considered abstraction my primary visual language probably because I was surrounded by it as a kid.
What, outside of visual art, informs your practice?
Film, theater, literary fiction, emotional conflict, childhood memories, living in my hometown, academia, parenting a twelve-year old daughter…every aspect of life informs my practice. I think, at bottom, that’s the case for most artists.
How would you like people to engage with your work?
I try not to have any rigid expectations, but I hope they are able to sense from each painting the energy and focus that goes into it.
Have you seen anything recently that has made an impression?
Right now I’m interested in painters who ignore standard Bauhaus tenets of good composition and color and opt for a more idiosyncratic approach. Thomas Nozkowski, Cordy Ryman, Dana Schutz, Jered Sprecher and Mary Heilmann are good examples. I’m also drawn to painters who incorporate text – like Richard Prince, E.J. Hauser, Mel Bochner, Austin Thomas, and Mira Schor
Do you have anything exciting on the horizon?
Yes, but I can’t talk about it yet.