"There is a middle road between understanding nothing and understanding too much, a juste milieu which poets instinctively respect more than their critics." - Eugenio Montale
I search for images that are familiar, poetically allusive, but because I combine the images in unlikely ways, the paintings remain abstract. This gives the painting the intimacy of the familiar but encourages the viewer to actively participate in the analysis of the imagery's connections. It is my hope that this gives the work its resonance. Rites, rituals and ceremonies in such diverse places as Bali, Kenya, Italy, Portugal and Ireland have influenced much of the work. Witnessing a ceremony for the cremation of a priest in a Balinese village, with its offerings, processions and ceremonial dress has yielded images. So have Irish cemeteries, circus parades in Italy, puppet plays in Indonesia and gambling casinos in Portugal. Rites, rituals, gaming and theater have in common a formal structure within which something idiosyncratic or unpredictable may happen. I think of my paintings as integrating formality and magic.