statement // about my work

I enact beauty by painting with "radical amazement"

I began painting in earnest in August of 2020. 

I had been meaning to paint, hoping to paint for many years — but was always too busy with other projects. When the pandemic hit, the excuses fell away, and I yielded to my heart’s desire.  

I started from the beginning: how to use the color wheel, how to mix paints, what brushes to use. I learned how to use a range of materials, and progressed from the basics to learning techniques for adding depth to my paintings, creating more compelling skyscapes, and creating an impression of light. 

I continue to learn a great deal. It’s tremendously rewarding — and a profound joy. 

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As an artist, my purpose is to seek insight and clarity; to experience beauty; and to share what I find with care and conviction. To achieve this purpose, I approach my work with what Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel called “radical amazement” -- that is, with a deep sense of wonder and abiding beauty. This sense of beauty -- that is, sensing beauty -- is central to my work. 

Beauty describes a personal, individual experience of perceiving with awe or appreciation.

If, as Cornel West famously said,“justice is what love looks like in public,” then beauty is what love feels like in private. 

Objective evaluation yields truth; and we determine what is good intersubjectively, in community. 

Beauty completes the picture: It is a question of taste, always personal, always fully present and authentically ours. Beauty tells us what we love; it illuminates our inner spaces. 

Beauty is a choice: We may cultivate it with intention and honor its value. Creating and perceiving beauty are skills we can practice and learn.  

My current work is just such a practice, a meditation on the process of its making, an ode to the joy and possibly of painting. My process is joyful, open-ended, and appreciative -- and my work is correspondingly bright, expansive, and celebratory. 

As such, my work evinces an explicit commitment to beauty as a primary mode of discernment. 

If we search for truth by observing, applying logic or reason; and we evaluate what is good or just in dialogue with others; then we also may enact the subjective aesthetic experiences we value.  

Accordingly, my work may be best understood as a means of enacting beauty. 

That is, when I paint, I experience wonder and perceive my experience with reverence; and simultaneously bring forth the object of my wonder. Painting provides both the condition under which beauty comes into being and the possibility of satisfying my own subjective evaluation. Painting is if and then, medium and message.   

Put another way: I practice self-awareness and experience my own essential goodness and worth by creating art that I love -- all while inviting viewers to illuminate their own inner spaces and personal experiences -- and to see the world with “radical amazement” of their own.