Gesture Paintings

Large Figure Studies and Small Figure Studies, original acrylic and watercolor paintings on watercolor paper.

This work draws from my subconscious mind as I try to respond to impulses without judgement. While I am making this work, I am doing my best not to think while honestly responding to feelings or visual cues. The process is a bit of a free-fall, involving trust and letting go. One of the things I try to trust is my years of art-making experience to help me make choices without intentionally thinking about them. The letting go part is a little meditation plus simply not questioning an idea or gesture; to just do it, then respond to it. This becomes an interesting balance of being in control of not being in control.

In fine art a gesture is an expressive mark derived from an impulse and captured with media, such as ink on paper. My paintings are clearly "of the hand" which are done with acrylic paint and watercolor media on paper, using the subconscious to develop the image. I often meditate before beginning to paint, looking to banish thought from my mind. Then, as I start to paint I let go of judgement and try to respond. Sometimes my response is based in emotion, sometimes from something I see, but knowing the source only comes after the painting is complete. For instance, months after painting "Bent Figure" did I finally recognize the source, a stenciled graffiti on a regular route. The gesture found in these paintings isn't controlled or practiced. Often painting with my fingers I try to rely on years of experience, letting my body do what is familiar, without letting my mind create expectations. Not an easy task, yet a very satisfying feeling when I can accomplish it.