Living here in Southern Arizona, several years ago before our current border "situation", I decided to add a new series to my varied painting subjects - Portraits of American Citizens. The focus for this series is the combination of diverse cultures that make up America. Like other painting series that I work in, this one is continually added to.
As a painter, making visual imagery in series instead of only singular works enables me to explore deeper into subject matter AND also personal painterly interests at the same time. That occurs by using Abstract, Figurative, or Expressionistic styling, and at times a mixture of them all. Working in series keeps me "awake" as an art maker, keeps my passion focused on searching for new content and the strongest ways of expressing on canvas. Over the years I discovered this helps me defend against what's numbing and deadly for all artists - repetition.
Personally, I am not interested in Photorealistic painting because it only recreates exact duplication of realistic images. To me Photorealism predominantly displays the specific talents of those artists - and extraordinarily talented they certainly are - but the end result doesn't explore or effectively convey what the artist FEELS from what they see. My personal choice is using expressionistic means so the imagery combines WITH personal reflections and emotions. Hopefully, viewers also connect through my painterly explorations - as with some of the American Citizens included here.
Among the 20 images shown here, which represent only part of this continuing series, you can view my various experiments. At times I choose abstract backgrounds to align and enhance the FEEL of the expressionistic portrait...or perhaps I might partially integrate background and foreground stylistic elements to enhance the overall imagery...or...I use my latest exploration of creating planes-of-light in color build-up on the portrait faces. ("Planes-of-light", meaning the build-up of tones or tints of the same overall facial color chosen in ways that highlight facial distinctions.) Doing so requires exacting effort because of the necessary hard-edged designs that clarify without distorting the portrait's unique features.
Yet in this exploration, as with all my painting work, the foundation remains - whether I'm using abstract, expressionistic, naive playful scenes, or personal inventions like my Wire People Series - it's all built on my personal affinity for combining simple essential lines with evocative complementary colors.
Concerning the business end, my art has been included in group and one-person shows Regionally and Nationally, several Internationally. They have graced magazines covers and music albums. Sales are included in Corporate and Private Collections here in Tucson, in Santa Fe, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Oakland, New York...Paris, Barcelona, and Berlin - etcetera. Lyric Arts, my co-owned marketing company, handles my business - various links to follow.
My sincere appreciation to Tucson Happenings for building this online platform into Tucson's Best Arts Magazine, and equally, thanks to you readers.