I create a liquid canvas abstract by applying oil pigments, using brushes, to a relatively clear, oil-based substrate. I use the brushes to pull the pigments across the substrate, often in curvilinear patterns, until it feels right to stop brushing (the decision when to stop is definitely more visceral than visual). Once the brushes are removed, the process takes on a life of its own, as the pigments merge in ways not possible using traditional “dry” canvas. Before the pigments submerge, I preserve the painting photographically. Like the artwork of Andy Goldsworthy, photography is essential.
The result – infinitesimally small particles of pigments interacting with fluid – is complexity beyond anything possible using traditional techniques. Only the creation of glass art is akin to it. Each image is such a cacophony of color and form, and so detailed, that fully appreciating all it has to offer can take many viewings. There are so many tiny, individual areas of interest that the image is, in a sense, immense.
Liquid canvas abstracts reflect the complexity of nature itself. As artist, I never stray far from nature as my guiding force. I view each painting as starting something that nature will finish. The beauty and detail comes from the physics of solids and liquids, over which I have no control. I like to think of it as a partnership with nature — a partnership we all should strive for in every setting.
The photography aspect of liquid canvas abstracts is, of course, a reflection of the impermanence of the paintings. My photography has always centered on impermanence. From the historic buildings of a ghost town or a gateway American city or a closed military base, to the fluid compositions of the ocean as it meets the shore, nothing lasts. But, with my cameras, I manage to wrest some measure of permanence from the impermanent. Liquid canvas abstracts are a logical next step in the direction my life as a photographer has always taken.