I started painting figures when I was very young. Anatomy fascinated me like nothing else, I became obsessed with the architecture of bodies. I would frequently visit morgues and medical museums just to look, and draw, and dissect. But the scientific aspect of it soon lost its appeal, and I realized that the person who had the best knowledge of a figure was the person it belonged to. I began the process of drawing my body from my own perspective; using the subtle synesthetic of somatic proprioception, my training in classical figure painting, and by applying a somewhat feminist philosophy by which there is no observer and no subject, I came upon this style as it stands presently. I don't want to order about a model or pretend I know her mind, I seek to be as honest and as empathic as possible, and that’s why I like to paint figures from within.
There's an image in Hindu mythology in which Kali, who is the bloody dark goddess of time and destruction, is in the midst of her macabre dance and as she steps upon the prone form of her beloved Lord Shiva, she stops. This image can be interpreted as the reckless force of time, standing still when it encounters that pervasive, universal sphere of consciousness. We can all be Lord Shiva when we are awake, even time stands still for those who live in the present.
All paintings are paintings of consciousness. Regardless of subject or intent, no art exists without its creator first existing. No art exists without ego, there is something divine which radiates from the roots of language and symbol, there is existence encountering void. There is Kali with all her fire and her wear breaking down our canvases and fading our colors, and there is Shiva who, despite the long years, still looks back from the eyes of our ancestors and boldly declares, I am.
Consciousness can be broken down into this fundamental relationship, a dichotomy between that which is external and that which is innate. For this reason there is nothing more universal than the cross. One axis, follows the horizon, the furthest point the eye can see, reality, The Neighbor, this natural plane. The second axis follows the line of gravity, that internal energy that holds the universe together, love. Everyone knows these two things, regardless of faith or culture or education. Mark Rothko knew it, Piet Mondrian knew it, the Christians know it, the Hindus know it, and the ancient Sumerians knew it when they made rectangular clay tablets to scratch their symbols on.
That is why I paint on rectangles, because I want my paintings to be universal, I want them to represent the conscious mind. And though the forms of thought are doubtless as innumerable as mankind, what we all have in common is the cross. The axis of time and space.
The form of the body, as it is experienced by the body is not primarily external, it does not occupy space, and I prefer the psycho-spiritual depth of an image to the form of an object when expressing abstract spaces. My goal is not to show you something or someone, but to show you an experience. My goal is not to deceive but to translate that most fundamental reality into a media which can be shared from my mind to yours.
True statements about painting
I am a painter
There are millions of us, we are each wholly unique
I have been oil painting since I was seven years old
Painting has a lot of loose definitions
Painting is an illusion
My whole family are painters, some of them paint with clay and stone, some of them paint with words or with music.
Sometimes I paint with pencils, sometimes I paint with words but I always paint with signifiers
I’m not a good painter, I have no idea what i’m doing or why i’m doing it, the whole process i find existentially baffling
I’m a very good painter, I (sometimes) exhale portraits effortlessly and have spent over ten thousand hours studying the figure
Painting is an unhealthy obsession which i use to cloak my own insecurity
Painting is my last best hope to escape the incessant compulsive horror inside my own head
Painting is a better coping mechanism than antidepressants
Painting is very time consuming
Painting is a stand in for an absentee father
Painting is the only thing I am really good at
Painting is not a financially solid alternative to working retail
Painting is expensive
Poverty is an acceptable price for a life of constant painting
Painting is an act of catharsis, a valve through which the shit can pour out
Painting is an act of synthesis, brush strokes like star dust coalescing in the ether to form a world.
A painting can look like almost anything but it should probably have a person; still lifes and landscapes are really pictures of the person seeing them.
Abstract paintings are images of the inside of people.
Some paintings are about the transubstantiation of sensory information into mineral based color on a flat surface.
Some paintings are about the transubstantiation of emotional or mental information into a physical image.
My favorite paintings are both.
Paintings should make you feel something, not necessarily something good
Painting is hard
Painting is easy
To be a successful painter one must do a lot of things which are not painting
Networking, proposal writing, gallery submissions and financial planning are all necessary to be an effective professional painter.
if painting does not support you financially you should keep painting until you are homeless and starving, eventually someone will take pity on you, or send you to a mental institution, or prison.
They have painting in mental institutions, and some prisons
The ability to have this obsession with painting arises from the privilege of having people support it.
Painting is selfish.
Painting adds something wholly unique and irreplaceable to the world
A painting is valuable in so far as it is made with value
Large paintings are hard to sell, small paintings are easy to sell.
The value of anything, but especially a painting, is an illusion
Painting is not good, it is the most spiritual form of materialism and the most materialistic form of spirituality.
Painting is a pagan God of violence and primitive unscripted rage, an expression of our most basic humanity.
Painting does not care, it will always take more than it gives and leave you with nothing.
painting is a reeking fool smearing his waste on the walls of his prison.
It is not a proper pass time for polite society, it is not civilized, it is not impressive, it is not beautiful.
painting will not save you, it will only teach you that you never needed to be saved. You never needed to be good.
Painting can be a lucrative career with a lot of hard work, sacrifice and careful planning
Portraiture, sign painting, illustration, pet paintings and greeting cards are all effective ways to make a stable career as a painter.
Painting is blue collar labor
Painting is a straightforward skill which ta kes time to master. It’s like typing, or plumbing.
Painting is a twisted, ephemeral specter of will, mouth gaping in the foreground, bloody buckets of sallow, bulging rickety flesh wet with the gleam of imagined pooling light.
Painting goes back to our most shameful, primitive, reptilian instincts.
Painting makes me happy
Painting tears apart the most basic rules of semiotic consciousness, discarding or circumventing those parts of the mind responsible for meaning and visual semantics.
Painting is sexy.
Painting is an enigma in a pit.