Artist’s Journal: NUMBER 91

The Awe and Mystery Which Reaches from the Inner Mind…


There is nothing wrong with your television set.

Do not attempt to adjust the picture.

We are controlling transmission… 

The Outer Limits (television show 1963-65)


There are storms in my head. Something is controlling what is being transmitted through me. Yeah, sounds like weird artist stuff! I keep saying that there is no intended emotion in my work.

I don’t paint happiness or, because I’m happy. I don’t paint sadness or. because I’m sad. I don’t paint anger or, when I’m angry.

I just paint. I scrape away the whiteness of the canvas to see what’s underneath. I see and I’m aware of the calligraphy and asemic writing, the horizontal lines.

If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical.

The symbols, such as the Xs, musical notes and commas – I have no idea where they come from. The commas first appeared at the end of my second MFA year. They were part of something I started to work on called “whale songs” which, were kind of a tribute to New Bedford, my then hometown.

At onetime I used to approach the canvas with a specific intent. Now, I just start without thought but rather, more on some type of intuition. I have no preconception at all of what the piece will turnout like.

We can roll the image, make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity.

I do know that living here in Figueira da Foz, the place, the scenery and the colors are seeping into my head. That’s all I’m conscious of.

Yes, some of the marks, besides the asemic writing and calligraphy are similar to phosphenes.  Phosphenes are which are what you see when you rub your eyes. It is now thought that these phosphenes influenced prehistoric art.

I’m often asked about my artistic vision. Honestly, I don’t have an artistic vision. I know this is not at all the stuff of a good artist interview but, I’m not going to lie! One of the reasons I stopped titling my work is because they are just sequential efforts. Perspiration as a beloved instructor used to call the work of art.

As for inspiration.It’s more of a need or, a drive to release something or, as my best friend Paula and soon to be wife says, “Go paint and get whatever it is out of your system!”  For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your television set.

Every time I think that I’ve finally found the answer to what my vision is, what inspires me, I get real excited. And then when I go to write it down in this journal – it totally escapes me. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to – The Outer Limits.


Posted on: 31/03/2017, by :
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