0.2 Preface

16January 2007


I have written this for others in an attempt to illustrate how to understand what it is I do as an oil painter.  Over the course of fifteen years, the discipline of oil painting has matured into my chosen form of communication.  Within oil painting I can speak in a way that the audience is aware of my intended concepts clearly and unwittingly, regardless of my chosen subject matter or aesthetic.  I will paint for a period, and then I will write about what I painted.  This essay is a collection of my thoughts over the last decade.  This is for me and not for you, if you do not agree with my thoughts on creating works of art and humanities use for the arts, then that is fine.  My ideas are sure to evolve through time as I learn to understand myself, broadening the relationship I have with my medium.

I oil paint with two distinctive styles or methods of aesthetic.  In one, I work with compositions purely based on the texture of oil paint, and in the other, I work with the architecture involved in the poetic or rhythmic use of the composition of color-forms to entice direct responses from a viewer.  In both establishments, I attempt to characterize mental-states of being using abstract pictographs associated with the intended narrative of my subject matter.

I place myself into the mental-state that I am trying to represent, and I stay in character for however long it takes to come to a full understanding of the concept I am working with.  I will stay in character until the work is finished.  I use my total environment to alter my own mental state to that of my intended concept with media such as music, film, and literature as source material to reach and maintain a specific mental-state.  Just as the actor must take on the totality of the character they play in movies and theater, I need to be my ideas before and I paint them.  A mental-state is not simply an indication of emotion, but an intellectual stage of being or consciousness where thinking and feeling beings process information during the moment.  The mental-state of an individual effects their behavior and understanding in all aspects of life.  There are many states of being that an individual will go through in life, and whether rational or irrational, a mental state is how people deal with cause and effect.  Action A causes us to feel happy, and action B cases us to feel sad, but that effect must not be classified as emotion,  Emotion is simply an external aftermath of behavior as a result of a mental state.  We each go through several mental states throughout the course of one day.

All human situations can be represented in a mental-state.  All mental-states can be represented with sound, and all sound can be represented with color-forms.  Compositional oil painting is capable of altering the mental state of the individual, just as directly and immediately as music does.  Although it may not be recognized immediately, or even at all, the outside influence of sound changes how mankind thinks, feels, and reacts to situations.  Sound alters our mental state of being, and speaks to us without the complications of personal experience as the interpreter.

During my studies, I select the subject matter in the majority of my work before I establish the composition for each oil painting.  The subject matter I use varies depending on the metaphors I am creating.  I speak about our world indirectly through contextual metaphors and direct word association.

There is always a portion of personal life in my works of art, and although I try to erase that identity from my work, it remains to a small degree.  As time goes on, my personality becomes my philosophy, which has evolved by the constant study of my work.   The creative process is an act of necessity, and is partially an unwitting passage.  I simply have known when and what to paint one step at a time.  Moreover, like the character Frankenstein, my creations are a reflection of the era in which I live and not that of the author, myself.  There is a chance that I am completely unstable and indeed insane, to a point where I can no longer understand what is an honest idea within oil painting, and what are the over-persistent ramblings of a sick man. Since I no longer wish to make the clear distinction between the two, I leave that up to you, the reader, to decide for yourself.

The following sections are an attempt to illustrate the benefits an artist receives from a dogmatic and disciplined study of his chosen medium.  Secondly to expose the amateur, the consumerist, hobbyist, and scenester artist for what they are, and are not.