Before I started working in scratchboard, I was an oil painter. (And before that, I worked in a wide variety of media, including pastel and pen-and-ink).

In the last several years, I’ve been exploring various approaches to painting to find a new way of expressing my passion for my subjects. I’ve used non-representational color, monotonal color, cold wax and other impasto mediums, and more. My most recent experiments involved using polymer (acrylic) in an organic, fluid fashion, and then bringing out my subject with oils. My experience with scratchboard is definitely influencing these paintings, as I’m handling the subjects in a more fragmentary fashion.

This kind of painting is exciting, but also difficult: it’s far easier simply to paint from one’s reference material in a straightforward fashion. This approach demands that I question each addition of paint: is this essential? does it enhance, or detract from, the overall effect? (A surprising amount of paint gets scraped off each piece). My failure rate is high, but the successes are so energizing that I keep going. The strong positive feedback the images are receiving helps as well.