Artist Statement re Inclining Toward Chaos
“A violent order is disorder; and
A great disorder is an order. These
Two things are one.”
Wallace Stevens, Connoisseur of Chaos
As I drive the 25 miles from Austin to my studio in Elgin, I often see flocks of blackbirds forming unpredictable shapes against the sky. The form is dark and solid against the sky, but internally, the birds swarm in every direction. These forms have long been a source of fascination for me. The turbulence of the interior starkly contradicts the definite edges formed by the flock. The shape soars and alters shape in the sky as a single unit while within it, each bird flies seemingly on its own independent trajectory. Is it order? Or is it chaos?
In many ways, these paintings are similarly composed. The marks which compose the shapes threaten the boundaries of their confining edges. Afloat in monochrome fields, these unmoored fragments echo the turbulence of the recent decade, while at the same time they are evidence of my joyful relationship to the physical world.
Not only am I affected by my daily surroundings, but also by several recent trips to Italy. The compositions are strongly influenced by Baroque painting. Other powerful influences are the reassembled fragments of fresco paintings which I saw in Rome, Naples and Pompeii. I love the fragments. The re-assembly results in unpredictable shapes which I find oddly contemporary. This quality of broken-ness obviously recalls the disaster of Pompeii, but also reminds me of the many man-made and natural disasters that have plagued this decade.