I first explored palette paintings purely as an extension of my current painting practice and as a way to examine the use of color and texture. Allowing for random and spontaneous placement was a less restrictive way for me to conceive one idea or subject matter, what ultimately led to inform my larger body of work. I wanted to double my output and loosen up my style to be more immediate and responsive to the act of painting. I also felt the urgency to work bigger and faster.
By switching to primed canvas and illustration board as my painter’s palette, I was less concerned with adhering to form, color, or content. I distanced myself from attaching any fixed concepts or ideas to the work, which in turn allowed for more freedom. When the surface was completely saturated with paint, I tacked it to the wall and studied it for a few days.
During this process, I started to recognize images in the overall composition, as well as elements and qualities within the color palette I employed : A face, a foot, a house. In one of these palette paintings the first image I saw was a reclining man. As I defined the image, and placed the subject in space, the reclining man morphed into a sculptor in his studio.
It’s no surprise that I conjured a sculptor, my father is a woodcarver. As a child, I’d see him turn solid blocks of rough, splintery wood into beautiful, anamorphic and figurative forms with smooth rounded surfaces that shimmered in the light like glass.
On completion of The Sculptor (2019), the idea of labor stayed with me. Primarily, how hard artists work. The frenzy, the deep contemplation, the brief satisfaction. All this work for something hard to define. These thoughts became the foundation for a series of paintings. Casting myself and rendered in a caricature style, the paintings became a way for me to examine the futility and the necessity of “work”.
The palette paintings remain an important part of my process. Sitting in my studio as I write this I’m watching a horse gallop across my canvas or maybe it’s a chicken in the rain.