education:Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
The University of Tulsa, Tulsa, OK
B.F.A. M.A. J.D.
As a young man, my father studied art with Arshile Gorky at Grand Central Art School in NYC. Afterwards, he moved back to Northeastern Pennsylvania and began painting signs and commissioned portraits, and married Lillian. Some time later, I was born in the same hospital where Franz Kline was born. All of which may explain my affinity toward Kline and Gorky. I went on to formally study art and earn three degrees, but I grew up in my father's studio and whatever I've learned of art, I learned there.
On December 19, 1976, I broke my neck in a car accident and stopped painting for 15 years. After the accident, I tried drawing with my non-dominant left hand, and then painted with a brush fixed to the palm of my right hand with Ace bandages and duct tape — but eventually stopped painting altogether to work on my paralysis. I lived in an old three-room stone schoolhouse that resembled the Alamo, wrote two unpublishable novels, drank bourbon, got a tattoo in Chicago, got married, stopped drinking bourbon, went to law school, had a daughter and started painting again. The paralysis turned out okay.
The titles sometimes precede the paint, but sometimes it's the other way around. In most works, the title is intended to be a compositional element. As for the paintings themselves, each canvas evolves through several stages and takes six months to a year to complete. The first stage consists of spontaneous wet on wet brushwork, which is left to dry for several months. The canvas is then "edited" by selecting certain areas and elements, and preserving them while applying a new ground. This step may be repeated, in whole or in part. At some point, graphite lines, "scribbling," and more paint are applied to connect the compositional elements.
The works, more or less, are edited action paintings with narratives.