Upon graduating from Tyler School of Art in 1972, I began an in depth personal study of color and color interaction. What started in Richard Cramer's Color Class continued through reading and reacting to Johannes Itten, Josef Albers and others. By 1974 I had focused on several of Albers "color problems" and set about creating work that employed them in interesting and unique ways. There was a great deal of preparatory work involved: drawings on graph paper and mixing colors using logarithmic progressions. The finished paintings were meant to be transcendent (as are the current paintings). I liked the idea of creating work that visually moved within a framework of repeating geometric shapes, which were non objective – i.e.: no reference to objects/reality, (although I was very interested in Middle Eastern mosaics, Japanese screens, and Lancaster County Amish quilts, as well as Bauhaus design). I called this work "geometric color system painting", and my investigation in this vein continued for a number of years. It dissipated when the tightness of both the structure and the process seemed too restrictive, pushing me to try various other methods, while still employing color and form without reference.
Around 1983 the work began to involve my personal life and shadowed both events and decisions. Elements in later work became metaphors for me, my wife, our children and our experiences. In 2000, I began a large group of paintings honoring my recently deceased mother. In every series, the personal references were obscure enough that a viewer would not likely sense the visual intent or make the connection, seeing only color relationships in shapes and lines. Creating work that is both personal and universal is very rewarding to me and often is an added bonus for the viewer.
The Tribute series grew from repeated (stenciled) hearts planned as valentines for my family in 2004, coupled with music related pieces painted with the input of Lancaster Symphony Orchestra conductor Stephen Gunzenhauser in 2005. Late in 2005, I began a series in tribute to my father using elements that reference interests we shared. Since he had been a Scoutmaster for 25 years and I loved scouting, I utilized the fleur di lis and other boy scout related motifs. I found that when repeated, all connection to their derivation and meaning was lost, so like many times in the past, these works, though based on personal elements, read totally differently and have universal appeal.
My father's quiet wisdom and careful work ethic has always been a huge inspiration to me and I like the use of conscious, repetitious marks in transition as a means for transcendence in both process and viewing. By repeating and layering the linear elements and employing careful, but less than scientific methods of color choice and mixing, these "energy fields" are intended to be calming yet energizing, uplifting and stimulating but at the same time, meditative. I have chosen to paint on wood for much of this group because my father was a fine woodworker and my first lessons on the importance of craft and the love of materials came from him.
In 2009 I began investigating words and text as the basis for my work.
In 2011, small drawings that initially were created as gifts, became an ongoing inquiry and allowed me to explore shapes that are not present in the word paintings.