My artwork explores the basic elements of drawing.

As a committed draughtsman, I’m interested in technical improvisation. The experiments from my ORGANIC GRID Series” are intended to expand the vocabulary for my entire body of work. Most GRID drawings begin as chess-like progressions, allegories for what Samuel Beckett called “a form to accommodate the mess- the pain and disorder- of life inside and outside the mind”. Each composition is new-born and blind, with its own internal structure, disclosing itself gradually. Since Work-On-Paper is an unforgiving medium, sometimes the very quality of risk that keeps a drawing fresh- whether technical or aesthetic- can also lead to its failure. This has become a quietly passionate journey that proceeds slowly over an unpredictable, unpaved road, and often comes with detours.

The GRID drawings began more than 40 years ago as a way to re-examine the basic vocabulary of drawing, particularly lines and patterns, and the rhythms that grow from them. (this is currently referred to as “deconstructing”) An ongoing preoccupations of mine is recognizing the difference “between what we see and what we think we see”. If the Grids seem repetitive, know that with closer examination, the repercussions and interactions of increasingly refined edges, the weight of overlapping surfaces, texture and surfaces, etc. are all there.




Drawing: Colored pencil, felt tip & watercolor
on incised & stippled rag stock

My drawings tend to be small. My goal is to make them intimate and, when possible, implosive. I’m ‘drawn’ to dense artwork, layered with symphonic themes and expositions, often quoting other artists’ work in homage. I try to incorporate those elements, keep everything in scale, balanced, and flowing. Sometimes the piece is put aside to review later when my eyes are fresh. Inevitably, the richer the piece, the longer it takes to complete.

EColi'06 copy

eCOLI 06

Drawing: Colored pencoil, felt tip on stained, incised, stippled, & sewn, Arches rag stock, with incised collage

I also reconsidered my drawing instruments as well as the surface and resulting texture of each piece. Making lines with  sewn and embroidered threads, if discreet, look inevitable and feel energetic. There are so many non-traditional materials rich with possibility: tea and turmeric-stains, tinted eraser scars, incisions by porcupine quills or fingernails which form negative lines, pentimento from stapled or embroidered holes, or pigment from steamed organic yarns. And then, the possibilities of a work using stencils, stamps, fingerprints…

Occasionally these alternates turn into self-important gimmicks. If my technical explorations overpower part of a drawing, it gets “faced to the wall” for eventual reevaluation. Possibly it can be reworked and saved. To paraphrase Picasso, ‘At it’s essence, Art is about eliminating the unnecessary’. Certainly a drawing which is overworked, uneven or cluttered with distractions is unnecessary. In a choice between destroying a drawing (or stashing it unsigned in a drawer to keep it unseen), I destroy it. I will not lose the right to control the quality of my work because of some common misdirected priority that says some flawed ‘thing’ has so much of my time and effort invested that it has essentially become “too big to fail”.