The paintings in this group all began as pastel drawings on raw canvas. I started using this technique about fifteen years ago but would only make a painting like this every few years or so. Last spring I decided to make a larger series based on this process.
Using soft pastel sticks, I improvise a drawing that either uses repetition to create a linear pattern, such as stripes or waves, or I move across the canvas more organically and create a drawing that is more random in its composition.
I love the directness and immediacy of drawing on the bare canvas. The pastel is soft and literally disintegrates in my fingers as I drag it across the surface. Since the material essentially becomes embedded in the canvas, I cannot easily erase or edit a mark, so each line is drawn and left to be. Once the drawing is complete, I cover the surface with several layers of acrylic matte medium to seal in and protect the drawing.
At this point I begin applying paint to the surface, and use the drawing as a sort of matrix or map to respond to and follow. After years of using large amounts of paint to create thick gestural passages and textured surfaces, I'm intrigued by how painterly these new works actually feel while using much less physical paint and relying more on drawing as a means to create depth and illusion. Some of the pieces even feel like collages. The title of the show is a nod to the ambiguity of the works. Are they more drawings or paintings? I think of them as drawing paintings, or painting drawings.
Conceptually, titles of individual paintings speak to a range of ideas. "Bebop Legend" nods to a form of jazz music that uses improvisation and virtuosity to explore tempo, harmonic structure, chord progression, syncopation and asymmetry. "One Thing and Another" implies various things without specifically naming any. "Deluge 2" and "Falling All Over" hint at fear, anxiety, hectic schedules and information overload, while "Float On" suggests optimism and just 'rolling with it'.
@ Haw Contemporary Crossroads