issue #24

Artist Statement

Artist Statement

I’ve said this before, that visual art is simply another medium I use to to explore – and discuss – ideas. Art is a language. Like any other language it can be used in a number of ways, elevated and base. But its highest use is illumination. Art is important and memorable and persistent when it brings to light new understandings, whether personal, or universal.

My most meaningful art records a process of learning, or a struggle to understand. It encodes the quest and the resolution, the journey and the epiphany. When I draw I am extending and refining my sense of touch, but also my awareness, conversance, appreciation, consciousness, recognition, enlightenment, and memory. The experience is all the more deep and breathless when I draw a portrait, as I discover a person, every mark on the paper an interrogating caress. In making paper landscapes I am learning how to paint, learning how to see, learning how to realize/reveal/convey the passion and sense I felt in those settings. My assemblages and sculptures investigate selfhood, alone and in relation to others, and are embodied with memory. I feel as I search and remember, and as I create. In my best art these coincident emotions are integral to the work, built into it, and in the end, they animate it.

I use so many different tools and techniques to create my art that it isn’t self-similar. The ideas I investigate are unique and disparate, each requiring its own material and fashioning, each outcome having its own particular meaning. Some of my pieces fall into series, but these taken together reveal a singular search. When I reach understanding I move on. My work isn’t about technique, either. I could never endlessly turn out variations on a theme in a certained style – I’d get bored. I am compelled to make art because I have something to learn, something (new) to say.

For these reasons my work isn’t repetitive, and so it is unrecognizable and unattributable. It isn’t decorative, either. All to mean my art isn’t salable. Collectors want the art they buy to stay in favor, to be permanent, identifiable, certain. So that it holds its monetary value, and status-conferring power. Ephemeral, quixotic, investigative work can’t satisfy those needs.
I don’t mind. I am about something else.

True art illuminates. It is, like knowledge, “The wing wherewith we fly to heaven“ (William Shakespeare) and “An unending adventure at the edge of uncertainty” (Jacob Bronowski).


Time and Distance

Time and Distance

We are used to measuring and marking distance with anything handy – foot, hand, thumb, stick, string – along with other secondary or abstracted references (like Marathon), displaying and understanding the inherently arbitrary assignment of length. It is true even for the exact measurements of science, where, for example, the definition of a meter is an agreed upon construct: the distance light travels in one second. We gauge time similarly, using many stand-ins to denote its passing, including distance. (This is a meaningful inverse, as cognitive science has discovered that we use the same mental machinery to process and represent these two concepts.)

The Time + Distance art installation presented here explores the ways we record and note the lapse of time. One familiar device is cycle, long used by humans to measure time by the recurrent movements of our solar system: the spin of Earth on its axis, Moon revolving around the Earth, Earth around the Sun. Other contrivances are repetition, distance/length, collection, accumulation, erosion, attrition, counting, growth, artifacts, movement, and the presence of absences.

Each of the four pieces demonstrates a primary device even as several others conflate and deepen the sense of elapse. Units are derived and explained.

MACHINE DRY        15 years, in dryer loads
lint, rope, steel, plastic

[5-7 loads per lint piece x 3-4 loads per week x 52 weeks per year = 16,380 loads.] [16380 = 15 years; 1 lint piece = .00091575091575 years.]




ABACUS       254 weeks, in loaves of bread
plastic, twine, wood, paint

[1fastener = 1 loaf of bread = 1 week. RATE:1 loaf/week]



TOTEM       ~ 10,897 minutes walking the streets of New Haven, in found hairbands
steel, hairbands

[467 hairbands ÷ 3 hair bands per 70 minutes = 10,897 minutes.]
[10,897 minutes = 181 1/2 hours = 22 and 3/4 (8-hour) days]
[RATE: 23.3 minutes/hairband; .04285500970584 hairbands/minute]



RUBY       40 years of marriage, in teak
cutting board

[RATE indeterminate]



The rest of my life, in cloves
jar of cloves

[APPROXIMATE RATE: 1/2 jar per ~ 22 years]
[APPROXIMATE RATE: 1194 cloves per ~ 22 years = 54 cloves per year] [Yes, I counted the cloves.]
[APPROXIMATE RATE: .0185185185185 … years per clove = 3/4 day per clove]



Early Work

Early Work

STILL LIFE [fruit] circa 1995. Oil pastel

STILL LIFE [flowers] circa 1968. Watercolor

GIRAFFE circa 1968. Crayon

OWL Study, circa 2005. Pencil

PORTRAIT Study, circa 2000. Ink


Color Studies

Color Studies

  • Large Color Study-1-wide
  • LCS1-detail_edited-1
  • Large Color Study-2-wide
  • LCS2-detail_edited-1
  • Large Color Study-3-wide
  • LCS3-detail_edited-1

Color Studies: 15″ x 36″, handmade papers. 2002.

First exhibited with “Transparency”, January 2003 at Willoughby Wallace Library, Stony Creek CT.

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