"I’ve been painting for about 10 years. During much of that time, my approach was to paint representationally. In other words, I painted things the way I saw them although I avoided being too tight in my interpretation on the canvas.
"I have to admit, until recently, I was never a fan of abstract paintings. I found it difficult to appreciate the talent or comprehend the hidden meaning the artist buried in the canvas. That all changed for me a couple of years ago.
"It was actually a fortuitous accident that sent me down my path toward abstraction. I was painting a landscape and was not happy with the product of my work. So I started wielding my brush and vigorously slapping on paint to cover up my disappointment. And as I did, something interesting started to emerge. I continued down this new and once forbidden path and found myself delighted with the discovery.
"As I experimented further with more and more paintings, I started to view abstracts in a whole new light. Eventually, I realized that an abstract painting doesn’t have to have some deeper esoteric meaning. In fact, my view is much simpler. It is all about the emotional response a work creates in the viewer.
"To me, a particular painting works when you connect with it. Sometimes you can be drawn in by the depth or the colors, other times you can find the shapes or textures appealing. Whatever it is, the painting gives you a reason to stare for more than a fleeting moment. The connection is usually instantaneous. It happens or it doesn’t and it’s different for everyone.
"So when asked what my paintings mean, I find myself stumped for a proper answer. They are not meant to mean anything. If they are successful, they grab you. It can be a bold yank or a gentle tug. They may evoke a smile or a pause. But if they work, they connect with you at some emotional level and give you whatever you need or are open to get from them.
"As an artist, I enjoy getting lost in the process of creating; taking twists and turns that inevitably lead me down a path. I don’t take my strokes and marks on the canvas too seriously. If I did, I’d be afraid to push the painting to a new and often unexpected place.
"While I usually have an idea or image in mind when I start a painting, I rarely end up with a work that matches my original vision. In most of my abstracts, I use a palette knife as my primary tool. I’ve found that using a palette knife, instead of a brush, is very liberating. Freed from a need to duplicate an image, it has allowed me to be bolder and less inhibited in my paintings."