|In dreams, the mind and the body seek re-balancing.
The tensions and distortions of life are re-processed
into new patterns. I believe equilibrium is the
continual, elusive target of all being. “Order” appears
in graduated phases, interspersed with chaos and
By 2005, I was feeling very deep, surging emotions in
response to our nation’s attack and occupation of the
sovereign nation of Iraq. I could not paint without
feeling these urgent emotions pressing at the door
About 35 years earlier I had been a medical corpsman
with Marines in Vietnam. A period of about ten years
in the 60’s and early 70’s was for me an immersion in
mass trauma, seemingly endless warfare, wrenching
personal conflicts in work and relationships.
That era gradually receded as my life moved in other
directions, but the imprint of the former was profound
and lasting. So many events of recent years seem to
be trying to reinforce the inhumane distortions of
before. Our Iraq mistake is Vietnam all over again,
and will have even more disastrous results, unless
we intervene with creative alternatives. For me,
making art is a start.
I began to search for an “image” that would portray
the inner turmoil, the cellular regurgitation, of the
extreme pressures of combat and recovery. There
was no “representational” way to portray this, so I
simply began to play with line and color, to keep it
mobile and responding to the edge of feelings that
sought an outlet through this means. These pieces
are totally improvisational, and grow without a plan.
What resulted were about 25 paintings on 24” x 24”
boards. Keeping the square seemed like a good way
to pressure the image through regular walls.
As the images progressed over a 4-month period, the
feelings began to flow with more force, and seemed
to snag and drag up peripheral emotional energies
with them. Sometimes I would feel like I was
processing someone else’s suppressed emotions or
memories along with mine, or even a wide band of
common energies for which I had simply found a vent.
This phase of work closed down when it exhausted
my material resources to continue. However, by no
means did the energies subside. I continue to paint
“abstract”, along with other types of imagery, but it
seems the newer pictures are less compressed, are
more fluid, and have extended their emotional reach
and complexity beyond the initial images.