The artist turning the Wheel of the Law, Tibet, 2013.
There is a tension in my work, a kind of struggle between competing forces: good and evil, light and dark, clarity and obscurity, things internal and things external. This may seem paradoxical, but in fact art embraces and thrives upon paradox.
My finished works result from a process in which the initial painting is tentative and exploratory, a technique that lends itself to imaginative fantasy. I experiment with unusual painting techniques and materials to get illusionist effects which, I hope, will resonate with the viewer. This spontaneous process has allowed me, by exploring the darker recesses of my own psyche, to develop a visual language rooted in a universal, shared unconscious.
The act of painting traditionally has been revelatory. This apple, that figure, that landscape, mundane to the casual viewer, are revealed by the artist to be something remarkable. Yet traditional painting concerns itself primarily with the interplay of light and shadow on surfaces: the skins of fruits, people, the Earth itself. Even abstract painting, which breaks with that tradition, has been largely confined to its own skin: the surface of the canvas. In contrast, I wish to portray not only what can be seen of the surface of things, but what lies beneath, the hidden and obscure, the dimly perceived, the mysterious and the forgotten. A kind of melding or merging of the external appearances of things and their deep import is what I’m after.