Ghost Town

I visited a ghost town as a child with my family. It was part put on, part authentic but the impression stayed with me. Later visiting the forts of Jamestown, the remains of the Lost Colony, the camp where my father swam in a mountain river, I was always struggling to imagine the actual lives and bodies, the physical presence of the people who had lived in these abandoned places. The stones, the ruins, the ancient trees were silent. It was always hard to imagine the past.

Today I carry with me my private "ghost town". The ghosts both comfort and  haunt me and they are always present. The solo activity in the studio invites them in. Nothing I paint stays the same from day to day, nothing I leave behind on the canvas solidifies a lost moment. Yet I love the layers and marks that accrue on a canvas. The finished piece is both an artifact and a memory, my encoded record of a particular week, month or year. My intention is always the same, to capture the ephemeral, to concretize the unknowable.

The themes of my paintings as I understand them in the beginning often reveal themselves as false once the process begins. These errant ideas drift away and somehow reappear again, truer with each passing. I keep going, give up and start over as the painting dictates. I stop when the painting says stop, and conclude when the ghost seems resurrected. In the studio my paintings are a chorus of voices and they tell their own stories. They are often stories of loss and memory, time and imperfection.

 
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