I don’t often talk in detail about my paintings. I prefer the interpretation be left to the viewer. I think I’m going to step out of that little box for myself and talk about a few paintings here. Today, I want to talk about a painting I did a few years ago called Standing Flatfooted at the Edge of Reason.
There is a spot not far from my studio, I walk there often and I have done that since I was a boy with the desire to explore. It’s a spot along the Taunton River approximately across from the Bicentennial Park at the bottom of President Ave in Fall River. It pretty much left alone and it would be quiet if not for the raging thunder of vehicles passing over the Braga Bridge just south. I find this spot very inspiring and have painted from there many, many times over the last thirty years.
This painting of the cattails growing along a creek that empties into the river, challenged me like only a few others have ever done before. It took about eighteen months to come to terms with it and another four or so to decide I liked it. The colors are the most vivid and personal choices I had ever used in a landscape. I found new ways to relate the manufactured shapes and expressive colors of my urban motifs into a natural environment. The reds and yellows look more like sign paint that something sprouting from the ground. The yellows look and feel like flames of torch fire, but together, they relate to me in a powerful and personal expression of the energy I get while walking the shoreline there. There is a power I feel there, feeding my expressive energy, and this vibrant blend of manufactured color and shape expresses that feeling for me.
I am drawn to the spot. I return and repaint the motif in a wide array of emotions. As I move along, I will post more paintings of this spot. I call it Pokanoket Point for the Native American tribe that once lived in this area. In reality, there is no name, no road, and only limited access. My wandering footsteps and wandering brush bring this spot to the canvas, and ultimately to the wall. Standing Flatfooted at the Edge of Reason was the first of a recent cycle of work inspired by walking one thousand steps or less, with a pencil, a camera and an open heart.