Littoral redefined

L 04 The Shore 41x48 web

“The Shore” 41″x48″


The word littoral is defined as the zone where the land, air, and sea come together. In this zone three disperate worlds interact and form an environment that blends calm, serene moments with chaos and danger.

I am working to expand on the definition of the word “littoral” in a strictly visual way. I want to reach beyond its literal restrictions and define it using a vocabulary consisting of form, composition and color. Included in this broader definition are elements of human interaction and intervention where the human imprint on the region is inescapable. We alter the landscape by building cities and ports next to our seas and waterways forever changing what we see and how we interact with the world around us.

The dynamics and range of expression can be articulated using a language of color and image inspired by memories and experiences. These experiences are the support and ground upon which I begin a painting. The background horizons are the first layers of the paintings. The horizons fill the negative space of the composition and they strengthen the relationship that exists between foreground and the background. They are the blurred distance that is the counterpoint to the hard-edged foreground. The foreground consists of fragments that are based on the fleeting incomplete visions that make up our memories. It is a reduction and refinement of our experience and I try to collect and assemble this assortment of thoughts and impressions and distill them to their essence and lay down these elements in paint.

The contrast of beauty with decay and balance with imbalance is expressed in the tone and hue of the palette as well. Color is mixed on the surface of the painting built up layer by layer as it plays with the ideas of color taking on different relative strengths when placed next to or combined with one another. Complimentary colors can be placed in a way as to reinforce each other and the combination leads to exaggeration or they can serve to diminish their relative power when placed in a certain way. It is this exploration of color, composition and light that entices me and drives me.

I like to build a surface and earn its effect. A hard-won battle with material, color and composition. To me painting is about creating problems, not solving them. Pushing to find the base element within the domain of an ascetic. As I see it everywhere you look is exciting, it’s the process of looking that is the adventure.

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