I was born into a fast-developing Los Angeles in the 1950s. My family and I moved to Italy and France for several years and returned to the San Fernando Valley when I was 12. At 19 I went to the San Francisco Art Institute to study photography. After one semester I switched to painting and after graduation moved to downtown Los Angeles in 1975. There I received a Masters degree from Otis Art Institute.
In 1975 downtown LA was ringed with largely abandoned light industrial buildings that artists like me had discovered and my artist friends and I settled into large, cheap spaces illegally. In the 70s when the city building inspectors realized what we were doing we went through a permitting process called Artist in Residence that led to what is today called the Arts District. The difference between 1975 and today is that we were there because it was very cheap while today it is expensive.
Why did my earliest exhibited work begin with the ancient Mayan ruins I'd seen on trips to Mexico? Why did I move my sights to the buildings of DTLA and the surburbs I'd grown up in? Even as a child I noticed buildings, and when I lived in Italy I studied the ancient buildings and arenas, and the worn stones they were made from. I've always been moved by the way humans create places to hide, live and work in.
This interest and affection for buildings and cityscapes has carried on to the present. It is the structures we create, and the way we cling to the earth through those structures that affects me. When I make a painting of a suburban house I lived in when I was young it is a portrait of the lives within.
To me, the vocabulary of painting (line, color, form, shape, scale, texture) is beautiful. I never tire of mixing color and moving it around on surfaces. And I never know ahead of time what will end up on the paper or canvas. I go where the paint takes me.