Oil paint is fluid, rich, and sensual. The first time I ran a cotton ball loaded with solvent over an oil crayon drawing, it was magical; suddenly a line became a river of color, and I was hooked.
Oil takes a long time to dry. I will even use a slow drying solvent to extend the drying time so the painting itself becomes malleable. It can be scraped, scribed into, and manipulated for days, and new colors can be mixed with existing ones on the canvas. I usually begin with an image from a photograph, a drawing, or a specific memory. But I use these only to get me started, to get something on the canvas to react to. Whatever follows becomes a process of association and visual problem solving. I look for balance, color relationships, the way lines and planes interact, and the use of space. I often feel like I am wrestling with a painting – a battle over who controls whom. When I am tentative, the painting always wins. When I become bold, I get better results.
My informal rule is, if I live with a painting for six months and have no thoughts of changing it, I’m finished…unless it isn’t.
Joe has been painting since 1992 and has had a studio at AVA Gallery and Art Center for fifteen years. While he has had no formal art training, he studied with Clifford West as a member of his critique group for ten years. He is inspired by the creative collaboration between the artist who creates the images and the perceptions of the viewers who confront and interpret them. He has exhibited his work in many individual, group, and juried shows and was selected twice for the Juror’s Recognition Award for painting at AVA’s Annual Juried Exhibition.