Over the years my paintings in oil and gouache have coalesced around two dominant concerns. First, the creation of images which mine history and culture for meaningful metaphors, critique and commentary and second, the continuing development of techniques although traditional in inception stretch the possibilities of representation as a contemporary aesthetic practice.
As a painter using opaque watercolor as a medium I have striven to use gouache as a layering technique to create dense images often based on historical poster designs. The heyday of the poster as persuasive propaganda belongs to the period before the development of television. War posters encouraging rationing, thrift, investment and endurance were instrumental in the pre-television eras’ appeals to unified mass action.
My gouache paintings originate in a phrase or idea presently finding currency in the mass media, either print or electronic, and through drawing is translated into a design linking image and text to create an often biting or humorous commentary. The paint is applied exploiting the marvelous opacity of the medium thereby facilitating hatching, layering and strong flat color juxtapositions.
My oil painting concerns are very different. There the emphasis is on depth and transparency although the painting as a sardonic comment on present or past cultural beliefs and modes remains of first importance.