It Was Dark When I Started Out: New Works On Paper. Froelick Gallery, March 19- May 2, 2015

When I started preparing for this show, I found myself wanting more than anything to find a way to bring the in-depth investigation and focus of the dye paintings to larger works that used the same variety of paper and media that I have used in my sketchbooks for years.  Gouache, watercolor, ink, graphite, charcoal, and pastel, multiple colors and surfaces of paper, all create their own effects and describe different moods and aspects of the winter landscape in Portland and beyond.

Working with these materials to create finished images that still keep the immediacy of my sketchbook studies has sometimes been a challenge, but I always did want to see where the unmarked paths led.


84, 30, 4, 14. Froelick Gallery, July 16-August 24, 2013

“We travel with the hope that something unexpected will happen.” -Andrew Bird

When I go out to make sketches and photographs for a painting, sometimes I wind up painting the structure that was my intended destination, and sometimes I find accidental landscapes, where light and weather have temporarily transformed a random spot by the side of the road. I usually find those places because I am waiting for something, because the trip has gone awry in some way. What I was waiting for becomes less interesting than what I am looking at.

The hope for something unexpected applies to the technical process of creating the art in the show as well. When I interpret the same subject using different media (intaglio, monotype, dye paintings, as well as the preliminary images) I find that each method expresses a different mood or approach, and has different surprises.

The show is named for four of the highways that parallel the Columbia River.

Special thanks to Gabriel Liston and Jane Pagliarulo at Atelier Meridian for their technical assistance and encouragement.

Surrounded By Water, Froelick Gallery, August 30-October 1, 2011

The work in Surrounded by Water is a record of my first year living back in Portland, after eight years of visiting only in the summer. Moving back here gave me ample opportunity to explore and paint bad weather, high rivers and cloudy night skies. During the winter I was able to see familiar bridges from unfamiliar vantage points. As the seasons changed I made several studies of one location- a railroad bridge and flooded turnaround on Hayden Island Drive.

Several of the paintings and prints in this show were inspired by two group expeditions- a tour of four bridges made possible by Regional Arts and Culture Council and Atelier Meridian, and a tour of West Hayden Island led by the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. I choose specific locations in Portland largely for the way their formal visual qualities evoke a certain mood, but those places acquire new meanings when I learn their history, ecological significance or engineering details. Usually, I don’t find out about those things until long after a painting is finished. By taking the opportunity to tour parts of Portland usually closed to the public, I was able to see favorite subjects in a new way.

Three works from 2010

Park, Froelick Gallery, July 14- August 29, 2009

PARK, n. An area of land set aside for public use, as:
a. A piece of land with few or no buildings within or adjoining a town, maintained for recreational and ornamental purposes.
b. A landscaped city square.
1. To put or leave (a vehicle) for a time in a certain location.

While the subjects of many of these paintings are parks within Portland, the title of this show is meant not as a noun but as an imperative: Stop the car and get out. These are places that are best experienced, or indeed can only be seen, by traveling on foot.

Whether deliberately planned or coincidental, these places allow us to observe the city without being swept by in the flow of traffic, and to experience time as changes of light and atmosphere, both ephemeral and eternal.

City structures observed at length also become establishing shots for countless possible narratives, historical sites that will never be in any guidebook but where, every day, people mark unrecorded events with contemplation, celebration, or mourning.

Here is one such story: on March 23rd, I took a walk on a drizzly, near-freezing morning in early spring. The landscape I encountered – the bleakness of bare branches and concrete contrasting with a surprising, exuberant pink- was so different from the summer’s overgrown vines , comfortable temperatures and clear skies that Portland itself seemed transformed, and inspired its own series of paintings.

While city parks may be designed to give city dwellers some exposure to “nature” (or at least plants) it is those parks we create ourselves, by stopping and watching and drawing, which begin to reveal the entire spirit of the place .