Three decades ago a friend who was into astrology told me that I wasn’t just a Pisces, I was a doublePisces. I still like the sound of that. I imagine not only two fishes circling each other, but four, or an entire school circling, and a few occasionally veering off. Some people have told me that some of my paintings look extremely different than the others, as if painted by different artists. I like that too. I think the double Pisces covers it.
For a very long stretch I painted only landscapes, and I was happy doing that, but eventually I painted myself into a corner. So in 2015 I vowed to paint 30 abstracts before attempting another landscape. That exercise helped me to loosen up. It also helped me to veer off to — wherever. Now it’s not unusual for me to have a landscape on one easel, and an abstract right next to it on the other. As I go forward my aim is to find those sweet spots between abstracts and landscapes.
I paint in the studio, but my inspiration mostly comes from nature. My springboard might be photo, a memory, or something I’ve imagined. In the beginning I follow the plan pretty closely, but there usually is a point when my plan gets ditched and the painting takes over. Anything that I’ve really, really liked has taken this trajectory. But then again, that same process has ended in complete ruin more times than I care to remember. Just ask my wife.