I start by moving the pigment over the ground, pushing it around with a brush or with my hands until the initial forms emerge. I can go back and forth with elements of a particular piece, adding and subracting, sometimes for hours, sometimes for years. I'm waiting for the materials to push back, to show me something. Observation plays an important part: I draw from the eye. Yet so does imagination and touch: I invent things, I feel my way through like a blind person searching for some lost treasure in the dust. Blades and sandpaper subtract pigment in search of differentiation. Veils of glaze fall across the surface, reclaiming the unity of the visual field.

The imagery comes from what I know: the Western tradition, my culture, my family history, the Catholic faith; myths, stories, dreams, memories and direct observations. The portraits are nearly always people close to me. There are landscape elements from my childhood in the Pacific Northwest. There are old photographs. I wrestle with images as I wrestle with my perceptions; with the materials.

'Self Portrait with Green Straps.' oil, 4x4."

In the end, a painting is more than an image. It is an object with physical dimensions, a record of thought and experience. It contains within it a precise, unrepeatable history. Woven together, image and object form a particular meaning and there is something different there, a mystery I could not have grasped by any other means. This is what fascinates me and draws me back to the work.