Being a commercial artist for forty years is a tough habit to kick. As unpredictable as the art field can be, commercial art seems stable compared to the world of fine art. I admire any artist who can make a living in any field of art, especially fine art.
Since I grew up as an artist in a household of engineers, I developed a need for structure in my art: designing, planning and pricing. Handy when you have bills to pay. As I began creating fine art it was like feeling around in a dark closet for sharp objects. So, initially I stayed within safe range of recognizable objects: Nudes, mermaids, sailboats. . . familiar subject matter and techniques. Sort of like listening to "Top 40" music, forever. These subjects were beginning to feel like objects, not statements. I wanted more: to create fine art that invites the viewer to look closer, share ideas and think.
Back in the eighties I taught painting techniques at UCI (Irvine, CA). I covered the traditional mediums: Pen and Ink, Gouache, Watercolor, Acrylics and Oils. But, I had the most fun experimenting with mediums that were not supposed to go together: oil and water, acrylics and ammonia, every mixture of graphite, lighter fluid and gel medium a mad scientist could come up with. Then try to paint with it. You could start with your own plan, but soon the natural properties of the mixture would take over and embark on a life of it's own. The resisting, attracting, separating and capillary actions would always yield fascinating results. Due to the metallic and iridescent qualities of my new paintings, they have come to be known as "Optical Abstracts."
Below are some recent examples of these techniques, painted in reverse on plexiglass. Much of the paint has iridescent qualities, and the yellow and whites in many cases below are actually metallic, which makes photographing accurately a real challenge. The photos look great, but they are even better in person. The color qualities change as you move about the room. Increasingly popular with yoga enthusiasts, their depth, imagery and colors lend well to being a meditative focal point. I encourage anyone passing the New Bern area to stop by the locations listed on my contact page to see!
Meditation Mandalas -Approx. 17.5" Square, $175 each
Mandala (munduhluh)- Loosely means circle in Sanskrit. It represents life and balance and has been embraced by many cultures worldwide for thousands of years. Just as in my regular abstracts: the whites, yellows and oranges are usually gold, silver and copper in the actual piece. Their concentric nature allows them to relate in sets, regardless of the colors you choose to represent your state of mind.
Meditation Mandalas -Approx. 11.5" Square, $100 each