Full Artist's statement
THE TORNADO PAINTINGS
Although I’ve never seen an actual tornado in person, they have been a subject of my imagination and art for over 15 years. I am drawn to their strangeness and stunning visual appeal and the way they dwarf the human landscape. I consider these works landscape paintings; the tornado for me is the force that puts all the pure elements of landscape -- earth, wind, water and light -- into motion.
Many of the images have been repeated in different scales and on different substrates to emphasize the unique qualities that those surfaces offer. Inspired by paintings at my workplace, the National Gallery of Art, many of the works are painted on small copper panels. The smooth richly-colored surface is ideal for producing dazzling visual effects and lends the work a unique rich surface. I build up the painting with thin transparent layers of paint, done in several sittings. I have found that I can achieve richer, more interesting colors. Generally small in scale, their larger partners are painted on canvas or wooden panels.
To create the compositions for these paintings, images are collected from the Internet. Colors, scale and space are manipulated in Photoshop. Foregrounds are changed or added in order to give the tornado its proper scale. Human elements are minimal, or not seen at all. Recurring themes are roads, fields of poppies, or a few houses. The tornado is the main event, an ominous entity lurking in the background.
I hope you enjoy my paintings.