I spent a great part of 2016 and 2017 in my first year of my Master of Fine Arts program at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. I am grateful to the many people who helped me along the way. I took some time to share with you some images of my work with an eye towards showing the progression made along the way.
One of my early pieces there. I probably did this in September, maybe October. I was beginning to think about opening up my language, mark making, expressivenes. I was thinking about Chinese calligraphy, as well as color movement. This is a lyrical piece, with a beauty and musicality of movement.
I began to open up my language, working methods, and thinking even further. I moved to the floor and began to use various methods of applying paint, including brush, drips, wooden sticks and various elements.
Jackson Pollock very much opened the door in terms of what is available to the artist as methods of working and thinking about applying paint.
I then began to spend a considerable amount of time investigating Not only Chinese calligraphy, but also the link between writing and painting. Writing as a visual art. I see Chinese calligraphy as one of the earliest expressions of abstraction in the visual arts.
I further expanded these explorations by looking at artists such as Mark Tobey, who spent a considerable amount of time in Asia, as well as Jose Parla who works in writing with his paintings.
Many of the initial explorations were done with rather inexpensive materials. This had the advantage of helping me to feel free to explore unencumbered by the pressures of using expensive materials. However, these materials also had a limit to the gamut of techniques that could be used. So I returned to oil painting. I painted, and dug, adding and removing paint. This allowed for a complex surface which allows a greater degree of sensuality.
Oil painting also allows for glazing, applying transparent layers of paint. The blue in this painting is built from over ten layers of transparent manganese blue. In between layers are other colors and materials, creating a complex multi-faceted sensation.
I then started to work larger, and more decisively. I moved away from the idea of language, but kept the feeling of movement, line and direction gleaned from Chinese calligraphy. The idea is to create a world of feeling and meaning, a place deeper than that which language can enter.
The largest of these works in about 12 feet wide.
Finally I had developed a new language. One that allows me to speak to human experience, feeling and emotion. The rythmic movement speaks of the flow of blood and pulsation of respiration.
Overall it was a very good and productive year. I am looking forward to going back for my second and final year.
Thank you, and I hope you will continue to join me on this journey.