About 30 years ago, in another life time, I trained and studied with Jan Saether and Martin Vaugel at an art school in Venice Beach, California. I studied sculpture and painting, and ended up gravitating towards oil paints, which I pursued for about 12 years. At that point I was primarily a figurative and landscape painter. June and I married and moved to Hawaii. I continued to paint. And then I started to teach Zen, and opened the Zen Center of Hawaii in 1992. At that point, I stopped painting. It wasn’t until last year during a 7 day retreat in Wisconsin, that I re-discovered my love of painting and took it up again.
But this time, I’m not painting in oils on a canvas. I’m painting with a stylus on a digital Wacom tablet, using Painter 12 software. For a while I was all over the map, trying to find my way. After a vacation on Grand Manan with my friends, Peter Cunningham and Ara Fitzgerald, along with my wife, June Tanoue, in June 2013, I began using photographs I took there, and some of Peter’s photographs to work in a new way. I’m working from photographs, sometimes two or three in the same painting, mixing, layering, erasing, painting. I’m not sure what to call this – perhaps “painting-montage”. But what is clear to me now is that the digital media offers me a wide range of options and tremendous freedom to experiment and explore how I can create a compelling image.
My paintings in the “Tide Series” continue to expand and grow. I like working with a metaphor in a series, because I can explore that metaphor in so many ways. It feels very limiting to me, to think I’m doing one painting about something, and then another painting about something else. Instead,
So you’ll see that I now have many paintings in the one series of “Tides” and this allows me to really explore this metaphor in many ways, and this feels enriching and interesting to me.
I continue to try out other metaphors, but so far, the “Tides” metaphor has been the one I resonate with best.
I welcome your feedback, your comments and your questions.