“Art does not reproduce the visible; rather, it makes visible.”
A teacher of mine defined Art as “Making Form of Experience.” His name is Victor Flach, and I spent my college and grad school experience arguing with him, but I think his definition of art works very well. Our experience is all we have to work with; even when we draw upon the experiences and observations of others (as we must, lest we stagnate), we must filter those bits of information through our own sensibilities.
I have been steeping myself in the discipline and practice of learning to draw since I was six years old. As a child, I found drawing extremely frustrating as, I know from my decades as a teacher, all kids do who have a talent for drawing. Talent, rather than making it easier, leaves one always frustrated with one’s present level of skill and understanding, and determined to understand more. So, still, I am pursuing greater understanding of form; each time I pick up a pencil, I am trying to learn to draw.
This questing, and questioning, attitude drives all of my work. Ever wary of self-repetition, I move from medium to medium, and method to method, always in pursuit of the idea. I have little interest in recreating visible realities, but rather, like Paul Klee, I seek to make visible my own meanings and my own realities.
Kurt Vonnegut claimed that a painting is one half of a conversation. These images are the products of my own quest for meaning. They are my attempts to stimulate a conversation with the viewer. I offer them here in the hope that the viewer will find in them resonances of his or her own experience, and be moved to respond. Whether the response is approving or critical, at least the conversation has begun, and therein is the Art: not in the artifact, but in the interaction between artist and audience.