Music is is an important part of my creative process, particularly jazz. I listen to great masters of the jazz medium, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington. Ella Fitzgerald, Lester Young, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli, Stan Getz, Coleman Hawkins, Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Bud Powell. Sonny Rollins, Sonny Clark and many others. The rhythms and emotions of these artists help propel and motivate my creative process.
The recent changes in our society, with their draconian implications and actions, are fueling distress and dissent that have caused me to reevaluate the nature of my current paintings. Although not political, the new series of paintings reflect both the concern and angst I have about the current situation.
Early important influences for me were the paintings of Mark Rothko, Willem DeKooning, Barnett Newman, Arshile Gorky, John Singer Sargent, Claude Monet, Eduard Degas, Jasper Johns, Larry Rivers, Jake Berthot and Licio Isolani at Pratt Institute for sculpture and foundry teaching. The sculptors Constantine Brancusi, and Henry Moore were also greatly influential in my sculptural works.
I work in a square format, which I find creates a neutral background for space. I create oil paintings with wax medium on both linen and canvas. The work is based on oil pastels that are sketches as well as finished works in themselves. These are used for inspiration for the larger oil paintings or translated to digital interpretations that are produced at a larger scale. Working with oil pastels allows me to explore color relationships, texture, atmosphere and space. Converting the surface and atmospheric qualities of the oil pastels to oil paintings is the primary challenge of my work.