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50 x 72 in.
Acrylic on Canvas
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While I am painting, I seek mainly to enter into a state of being. I am motivated by a feeling of freedom and self-forget-fullness. I also have a powerful urge to create a universe which is esthetically pleasing, a world of abundance, both cheerful and somewhat naive, and far removed from the morbid pessimism in which I am engulfed on all sides by contemporary culture, media and art. The universe I construct is based on the garden and the forest.
The process unfolds directly on the canvas, which is usually placed flat on the floor. I move constantly between happenstance and choice. I usually begin with a key figure that impressed me (a bird, a flower). I construct the picture gradually using successive layers of deliberate accident and controlled elements. This results in a combination of drawings, collage, realistic painting, pools of polymer, grand strokes made by large paintbrushes, recoveries, transparency, and minor motifs. It is all part of a composition, in which the void controls the filled spaces and in which I seek to maintain visible traces of each layer, as testimonies to the construction of the work.
Leaving bare spaces on the canvas is something that I admire in several contemporary artists, including François Lacasse, from whom I borrowed the technique of pouring paint onto the canvas and of controlling its movement without brushes, by moving the canvas.
Pictures drawn by children are also frequent in my work. As I teach at the grade school level, I have a wide variety of choices that I can reproduce. The presence of work by children has become increasingly important in my most recent work in which guileless birds are enthroned like kings, the gentle guardians of my universe.