years ago in the fall, as I was readying garlic cloves for planting, I watched
as the sky became filled by a flock of crows. With their coal black color they
were a stark, noisy contrast in the landscape. That day I became fascinated by
the extent of their “language.” I later learned that crows and ravens are
considered to be among the most intelligent and vocal creatures.
crows and their raven cousins are most often associated with fear and
foreboding, in many cultures they represent the good and positive. The origin
of “Storytellers” was born out of the myth of Odin, one of the chief gods in Norse
mythology, who had a pair ravens called Hugin (Thought) and Munin (Mind) perching
on his shoulders. Each daybreak they were sent out into the world to observe
what was happening. By sunset they would come back to report to their master what
they had seen and learned.
set about to create a series of mixed media works in the spirit of haiku, small
snapshots stirring emotions while avoiding unnecessary detail, with the
blackbird silhouette as a signature visual element. The concept of the bird as
a separate layer in each piece is meant to strengthen the notion of observer. Richness
of the landscape atmosphere and light as seen in my previous work continued to
attract me, but improvisation became my aim. I am not an abstract painter, so I
let the paint tell me where to go, often combining traditional brushwork and
paint glazing with unique crumpled paper brushes and paint dripping. The pieces
are not as much about the subject as they are studies of color and form, and
plus years in the making, “Storytellers” is comprised of thirty-eight works, thirty-one
8x8’s and seven 20x20’s on birch panels.
My work might be labeled a combination of literal and abstract, a meeting of contrasts. The paintings are inspired by the shifting weather of the Catskill Mountains rural landscape with its transitory horizons and unique moments of light created when sky meets land. My aim is to use the landscape to stir feelings of longing, promise, and the passage of time, while my process has become a response to color, suggesting rather than spelling out detail. The paintings have been called “dream-like”, composed of generous skies, mist shrouded mountains, and low horizons. Some of the paintings are of actual places. Some are imagined. They are all bits and pieces of observation.
I am strictly a studio painter, and of late I rarely use photographs for reference. I spend a lot of time looking. I often get so deep into the work that I lose all perspective about whether it’s good or not, whipsawing back and forth between the extremes – it’s the best painting I’ve ever done, it’s the worst. I may walk past a painting in progress and shield my eyes so I don’t have to look at it, and won’t spend hours changing something that I might regret and want to change back again tomorrow. Other times I will sneak up on it for a look, as if the painting would somehow change if I approached directly, or I could surprise myself and see it anew, deciding then if I liked it.
I haven’t always been a painter. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Arts from Keuka College where I was trained in the classical style of painting, I became a Kindergarten teacher. Later, I studied illustration and design at The Corcoran College of Art in Washington DC, and digital painting at the Pratt Center for Computer Graphics in New York. In the early 1970’s I began a career in Graphic Design starting as an “apprentice”. Eventually I became Vice President, Director of Graphic Design at Fulton & Partners Inc. and Design Director of ID Magazine in New York where I worked from 1973-1987 before founding Fuller Design Inc.
My work has been cited for excellence by The Society of Illustrators, American Institute of Graphic Arts, "The New York Times", "Communication Arts Magazine", "Print Magazine", and The New York Art Directors Club among others.
Paintings have been shown at: Munson Williams Proctor Institute, Utica, NY Minnetonka Center for the Arts, Wayzata, MN The Catskill Center Erpf Gallery, Arkville, NY The Roxbury Arts Group, Roxbury, NY Enderlin Gallery, Roxbury, NY Wawaka Gallery, Halcottsville, NY Longyear Gallery, Margaretville, NY