I participate in the play of fluid dynamics as they exist within the intimate scale of a painting by choosing to work with paint in a liquid, pourable state.  This reflects my lifelong interest in the processes of nature that animate the world on a vast scale, such as the flow of ocean tides and weather, and in a much wider time frame, the flow of molten rock in geologic formation.  Fluid paint finds its own form – sinking in place or running across a surface – according to the same principles, such as surface tension, viscosity, the effects of gravity.  I pour paints of varying viscosities and a pictorial structure starts to develop as the color flows and settles.  I intervene in this development by tilting the panel, blowing on its surface, adding drops of color that float and elongate into ribbons.  Certain paints form a skin rapidly, which then breaks apart as the paint dries.  The skin shrinks and splits open to reveal the underlying ground through stark, ragged fissures.  The surface of the painting remains dynamic as it dries, and I continue make alterations as it changes.  The transformation continues overnight, so I often leave the studio not knowing whether the piece will arrive at a point of completion.  Like the firing of raku pottery which introduces unpredictability as part of the process, my decision about whether the painting has become animated and evocative or has receded into inertia is reserved for the next day.  Capillary action, foaming, adhesion and absorption contribute to this, often with the branching nature of fractal imagery. 
 
Inserting myself into this natural process as a studio practice requires a degree of abandonment of intention, since working with extremely fluid color is a matter of participation with its behavior rather than mastery of it.  My collaboration with the self-organizing tendency of fluids creates paintings that reflect the formation of biological structures or the geological composition of the earth.  As a metaphor fluidity can represent both the genesis of primordial life and the inundation of our particular, present lives. In “Moby-Dick” Herman Melville writes: “we ourselves see in all rivers and oceans. It is the image of the ungraspable phantom of life; and this is the key to it all.”  The most resonant place for me is the granite coastline of Maine where I spend portions of each year, in all seasons.  My home there overlooks a bay where balsam-covered islands formed of deeply fissured, fantastically varied rock and fringed with seaweed are swept by daily tides.  I find something there that can also be conjured in painting.  
Bibliography Section Article Bibliography Section Catalog Bibliography Section Web Link PDF icon displayed by thumbnail Sold Dot