This is an occupation known as painting, which calls for imagination, and skill of hand, in order to discover things not seen, hiding themselves under the shadow of natural objects, and to fix them with the hand, presenting to plain sight what does not actually exist. And it justly deserves to be enthroned next to theory, and to be crowned with poetry.”
My paintings are about simple things carefully observed. When I’m planning a painting, I often just walk around my house, looking for objects—a pair of blue jeans, a paper bag, a dress borrowed from my wife—that feel like they might belong in a painting. I plan my compositions around these things.
I work directly from life. Realist painting is less about the mechanics of rendering than it is about learning to accurately distinguish light, form, and color. Each painting is an exercise in letting go of preconceptions.
I’m deeply aware that I’m participating in a tradition of craftsmanship that goes back well over 600 years. There’s no point, however, in re-making what others have done, so the core of the thing is to respect the craft while expressing my own self. The balance between those goals is endlessly engaging.