Creative Processes

Below are select pieces which have been accompanied by detailed descriptions of their subjects and the creative process behind the work.

Action Painting #1, 1988

68 x 83 x 4.5 inches, oil paint on modeling paste, Duco enamel on canvas, lacquer on walnut, cherry, birch, holly and bog oak wood veneer. Collection of Nielsen and Associates Realty, Roseville, MN.

Action Painting#1 is a composition potraying Jackson Pollack's painting, "1948" hurtling out of a gallery window. This installation photograph shows the painting, window and window fragments flush mounted onto a flat wall that has been painted two different colors. All image/objects are built in forced perspective and are covered with a combination of wood intarsia and oil paint.

Ca' d' Oro, 2005

88 x 48 x 1.5 inches, oil paint on gesso, acrylic on masonite, lacquer on English Brown oak, German oak, White oak, birch wood veneer. Private collection.

Ca' d' Oro, the House of Gold, is a famous Gothic Palazzo on the Grand Canal in Venice. Inspired by the beauty and diversity of Venetian art and architecture, this large work is one of my most lavish, elaborate and intricate works. Built in forced perspective, the faux stone window frame features an ornate 9th century Byzantine pattern carved in low relief across the arch and the base of the frame. It is finished with the patina of ancient marble. Within the window seat rests a velvet cushion adorned with a sixteenth century Venetian floral design. The intricate wood intarsia of the latticed windows, has been carefully crafted from hundreds of separate pieces finely sanded and lacquered oak veneer. All working in conjunction with the painted view to create a transporting illusion of being there.

Nocturne V, Ponte Vecchio, 2006

81 x 47 x 3 inches, oil paint on gesso, acrylic paint on carved masonite, lacquer on English brown oak, white oak wood veneer. Private collection.

The frame was the end result of a dozen preliminary scale drawing. Built in forced perspective,the complicated shape of the frame creates the illusion of a Renaissance era bench seat, pushed against the wall under an opened window. A fourteenth century Florentine pattern is carved into face of the faux marble seat. The intarsia windows appear to project dramatically into the viewers space, this in fact is an illusion, the window, bench seat and painting being on the same plane.

Ninna-ji, 2007

69 x 59 x 1.5 inches, oil paint on gesso, silver leaf, iwa enogu on gold leaf, lacquer on tiger wood and oriental wood veneer. Private Collection.

The Buddhist temple, Ninna-ji was founded in 888 AD. It is located in northwest Kyoto. The frame is an accurate likeness of this palace doorway. The view looks past the engawa (deck) and across the pond garden to a tea house, the roof of the central gate and the top of the pagoda. The doorway and folding screen are constructed in forced perspective bordered with inlayed wood veneer (intarsia), gold and silver leaf. The work combines the contrasting styles, techniques and materials of Western and traditional Japanese Painting or Nihonga. Nihonga painting uses iwa enogu, literally translated, rock paint. and white gofun or ground up oyster shell. Mineral pigments such as malachite and oster shell are mixed with gelled animal skin glue (nikawa) and is applied with bamboo brushes with the painting laying flat. With little room for error the Nihonga is painted onto a pristine field of gold leaf. In this work, the gold leaf was individually hand cut and applied to create the illusion of perspective and three dimensionality of the folded screen receding and advancing in space. This work is flat and hanging on the wall.

Rokuon-ji, 2008

63 x 47 1/2 x 7/8, Oil paint on gesso, gold leaf. Private Collection.

This painting depicts the Zen Buddhist Temple, Rokuon-ji , popularly called the Kinkuku-ji or the Gold Pavilion. The Kinkaku is seen reflected in the Kyouko-chi (mirror pond). The Kinkaku is an elegant and harmonious building consisting of three different types of architecture. The first floor is Shinden-zukuri or palace style architecture, it is called Hou-sui-in. Housui, loosely translated means religeous water, representing the teaching of the Buddha to rarefy peoples earthly desires. The second floor is Buke-zukuri or built in the style of a samurai house, it is called, Chou-on-dou. Chou-on, the sound of the sea, as a metaphor of the voice preaching the truth far and wide. The third floor is Karayou style or Zen Temple style. It is called Kukkyou-chou, Kukkyo means the last of the five stages leading to enlightenment. The second and third floors are covered with gold leaf on Japanese lacquer. The shingle thatch roof is crowned with a gold Chinese phoenix, a symbol of rebirth. The gold leaf picture frame is based on the katou-mado or lantern style windows of the top floor of the Kinkaku.