About the Work

My paintings are succulent in color and reductive in composition. Repetition provides an underlying structure for much of my work. 


Studio view in March 2022, with small Tutto paintings on panel on the far wall and new canvases at right

The new work in 2022, Tutto, continues the formal themes I have been working with for the past several years: a divided field, a strong emphasis on the horizontal, and saturated color. In the early days of the pandemic I worked mainly on paper, producing Mezza, Vico, and Riz, the series you'll see as you scroll down. Tutto  flowed from them. 

Working on paper is different from working on canvas or panel; painting large is different from painting small; and tube paint—oil or acrylic—is different from velvety gouache, luscious oil stick, or the luminous wax of encaustic. I have employed all of these methods and materials for many years, but always separately. With Tutto—Italian for everything—I have chosen to explore my ideas using all of them.

I don’t mean to say that I’m working with a material mishmash. Within the series I am using specific materials for each painting. However, the variables— different arm motions required for working large or small, different paint viscosities and drying times, the refraction of color through different mediums—are all elements that affect the outcome. Of course I have a vision for Tutto, but with this all-in-one strategy, there’s also room for surprise.

If you are familiar with my oeuvre, or if you are new to it as you scroll through this website, you'll see that the later works in the Silk Road series feature the same bisected field with horizontal bands over what appears initially to be a monochromatic field. Transitions are interesting as one idea morphs into another. Tutto will carry on the tradition of the bisected field while Silk Road will double back and resume its identity as a series of color fields. As for the Silk Road paintings that look like Tutto, the creative path is not like an interstate highway with Point B at the end of a relatively straight shot from Point A but more like the fabled Silk Road of history, with its multiple routes, some parallel, some going off in totally different directions. 

I discuss some of these issues with artist Deanna Sirlin in Contemplating the Horizontal, which appears in the Summer 2022 issue of The Art Section.

You can see more in my catalog, Tutto and Related Works.


Installation view at Arden Gallery, Boston, in the exhibition, "Vico & Swipe," February 2024

Photo courtesy of the gallery

Vico is a new series, begun in 2021 and resumed in late 2023, with 22 new paintings completed in early 2024. Worked in oil mediums (oil stick, oil pastel) on prepared handmade paper, these small paintings ask to be grouped in modest or large aggregations. There is no underlying message here, just a love of material, color, and process.

Silk Road

Installation of Silk Road in solo exhibition From Dawn to Dusk, at Odetta Gallery, New York City, 2019

Silk Road is chromatically juicy and compositionally reductive. I refer to it only partly tongue in cheek as “lush minimalism.” Each painting in the ongoing series is a small color field composed of layers of translucent wax paint. The series, which I began in 2005 and have worked on for some part of each year since, was inspired by the shimmery quality of iridescent silk, hence the title, but has evolved into a more expansive exploration of hue and surface. In plying a richness of paint against a limited palette in each painting, I aim to set in motion a small-scale dynamic in which more and less jostle for primacy. Working sequentially allows me to develop a number of chromatic ideas, each discrete, which converse well in groupings and grids. I've limned the perimeter of each painting with a complementary, or complimentary, hue. My intention is to enliven the color field while at the same time creating a visual spark that jumps the eye from painting to painting.


Swipe on the wall at Arden Gallery, Boston. The series began in 2016 and continued through 2020, The works are oil stick and oil pastel on 300-lb. Arches or Fabriano, 30 x 22 inches

Being accustomed to fast-drying mediums—encaustic, gouache, graphite in alcohol—I was surprised to find myself drawn to oil for this series, but the schmear of oil yields a surface like no other. And half-dry oil paint invites incursions. What I love about the medium is that as I scribed into it, the displaced paint built up in globs along the skived ridges. There is no underlying meaning here, just a love of material, color and process.


Five Mezza on the studio wall. The series comprises 25 works,

from 30 x 22 inches to 14 x 11

 Mezza means “half” in Italian, an obvious nod to the way I divided the field. Working with two halves is a chromatic challenge, because not only do I need to make each half work on its own, but both halves need to work together visually. In the darkest days of the pandemic, especially, it was a joy to be surrounded by such lush and uplifting hues. Mezza consists of three sizes: 30 x 22 inches, 20 x 14, and 14 x 11. The paper (which I used as a full sheet, as well as halved or quartered) is 300-pound Arches hot press, which has a velvety surface. Its substantial thickness is sufficient to absorb the water media I used—gouache, watercolor, and wax emulsion—without buckling. 


Installation of Riz on the studio wall before individual pieces were sent to galleries in Atlanta, Chicago, and New York City

Image below: Each Riz comes in its own portfolio

Summer is my time to work on paper, but with the pandemic I ended up working on paper for most of 2020 and 2021. Riz, so titled because I'm working with horizontal bands of color, is the first of three series I produced during this period. These paintings are oil on handmade paper, each 14 x 14 inches. There is no "meaning" here, just a chance to visually dive into deep, rich, color. Each painting comes in its own portfolio.

Chromatic Geometry

Chromatic Geometry 13, 2013, encaustic on two panels, 24 x 48 inches

With Chromatic Geometry, I’ve skewed the conventional 90-degree intersecting grid so that it has become a field of attenuated diamonds that are integral to the visual structure of the painting. Formally I’m thinking about the division of the diamonds into greater or lesser amounts, allowing me to resolve relationships of color and shape. Each little triangular shape is a fulcrum that affects the equipoise of the field. However, with the horizontal division of the field into two hues, something else is taking place: an ambiguous figure-ground relationship. Those differently sized triangles are now visually kinetic, shifting between foreground and the deeper space suggested by that planar meeting of hues. I hadn’t intended it, but there it is, a welcome surprise in the order of things.


Soie 10, 2010.gouache on Rives 140, 22 x 30 inches

In this small series of gouache-on-paper paintings I explored grid as weave, or perhaps its opposite. Soie is related conceptually to Silk Road, but it is as easy and light as encaustic is demanding. Gouache is velvety and flat, and it flows off the brush. (Soie is, of course, French for silk. I wanted a title to signal a connection to its related series without being too obvious.) Turning the square on its axis changed everything about the composition. The diamond asserts itself, pushing rigorously outward while remaining resolutely poised.

Diamond Lattice

Diamond Lattice 25, 2012, graphite and micaceous oil stick

on Fabriano 300 lb. hotpress, 30 x 22 inches

Usually color is the focus of my work, but an achromatic palette affords me the opportunity to mine the rich tonal variation inherent in black and white. In Diamond Lattice I worked with two interacting diamonds afloat on a field of indeterminate space. Receding and advancing, the diamonds carry out a pas de deux in each work and, I hope, a larger interaction when viewed as a group. Diamond Lattice was painted on 300-lb. Fabriano hot press, a heavy watercolor paper with a surface rich enough to absorb the density of powdered graphite. In the latter part of the series I introduced micaceous pigment to impart a shimmer that seemed right for the concept of “diamond.” Though the shimmer may not be initially apparent, it becomes visible when you view the work from an angle.

Silk Trail Prints

Silk Trail 342, ongoing series, unique digital

print on 11 x 8.5 inch archival paper

Silk Trail began in 2010 when the cyan in the all-in-one color cartridge ran low as I was printing. What I’d wanted was the image of one of my Silk Road paintings. Instead, I got one with bands and striations. Bands of color signaled the last gasps of uniform color; fine striations were the machine’s vain attempt at producing the color field. The composition was minimal but the color was rich, an accident I could work with since that’s what my paintings are all about, too. I overprinted that first print with a different image. Then I sent the sheet back through the printer, but from the bottom rather that the top. Pleased with what I saw happening, I printed many pages multiple times. The results were glorious: overlays of slightly out-of-register color with a gouache-like richness or a watercolor-like veil. Quite literally out of the blue I stumbled upon a new way to explore color that is very much in keeping with the way I paint: layer on layer, relying on the interaction of hues to produce richness and depth. Production of the prints is sporadic. I get to make about 20 at the end of the life cycle of each color cartridge. I work primarily with an HP office printer on Epson archival print paper. Each print is unique and sufficiently archival to last a lifetime.