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“Life is in colour, but black and white is more realistic.”

Samuel Fuller

(Scroll down to read about this portfolio)

As a compositional device, colour is one of the most important and potent elements in how we respond to art. This is because colour not only reflects the world as we encounter it; it readily influences our understanding, interpretation, and emotional response to those encounters. It might be for that very reason that Fuller, along with so many filmmakers and photographers, often chose a chromatically reductionist approach to the work they produced. Removing colour leaves us (at least, ideally) with the unfiltered substance of what is being portrayed. That, in turn, facilitates a more fundamental, and on some level, a more honest response to what John Szarkowski called, “the thing itself.” In that sense, black and white truly is more realistic.


In this portfolio, my interest is in exploring the possibilities of composition. Avoiding both the visual and emotional encumbrances of colour, I focus on shape, texture, positive and negative space, and movement. For the most part, the paintings in this portfolio begin with a vague, but previously considered starting point. They are often inspired by architectural structures; at other times, they are based on the interpretation of imagined objects interacting with other such objects. As compositions are worked, new visual arrangements and new details of emphasis present themselves, and in this, new opportunities for exploration and discovery emerge.


Texture, layering, and evidence of the movement of brush work are important elements in all of my work. In this portfolio, spatial relationships and the creation of visual tension – the relative proximity of shapes to others, and of shapes to the edges of the canvas – are particularly intentional aspects of the exploration that these paintings engage in. Likewise, the contrast between the texture of positive space objects and that of negative space they exist within is intended to reinforce the character of composition.


In deliberately limiting my palette to black and white, I invite the viewer to engage with what these paintings communicate to be their own realities: they are sometimes static, sometimes gestural. They are often simple, but in that simplicity, they are, in their own right and once again, always more realistic.

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