WHY MIXED MEDIA ?
When working in traditional media, even abstractly, I sometimes found that a direction I had taken started to feel familiar. Often I would realize that I was being overly influenced by other artists. It got to the point that I couldn't trust the validity of my motives and decisions.
During the construction of my home there were many masonry tasks that needed to be done. I had to do a lot of work with colored grouts and several differient forms of plaster. I was struck with the versatility and by the textures and colors that were possible. My brain began to whirl with all the many applications this medium could foster in my work. It was like wiping the slate clean, nothing felt familiar, no influences to avoid. My art could be an exciting adventure where I experiment, break new ground and trust my instincts once again.
ABOUT THE INSPIRATION
I am not the first artist to be inspired by nature. Insects, animals and their structures, fossils, natural stone, sedimentary rock and the mechanics by which they are formed over time, have a fundamental primordial appeal. Grout, with its various qualities and capabilities, is the perfect medium for its expression. This non-traditional medium is conducive to the process of experimentation. I ask the question "what if?". I am not always happy with the result, nor is it always what I expected. This learning process evolves, fueled by the creative impulse, until, like a fossil or ancient stone, the work becomes a time capsule, a manifestation of inspiration, struggle, and brief moment in the sun.
ABOUT THE PROCESS
My art is process driven. Much of my technique is designed to mimic natural occurrences. I open myself up to whatever art wants to be. Through the sheer volume of work, my process has evolved into a sort of monoprint. Instead of paper, I transfer the image onto a 1/2 inch thick, light weight, high tinsel masonry slab. Instead of ink or paint, I use dry pigment mixed with grout and acrylic polymer. I work in reverse on a large sheet of tempered glass. Unlike traditional painting, the colors I lay down first will appear on the surface of the finished piece and not be obscured by subsequent layers. This makes it hard for me to accurately determine the finished outcome of the piece. This forces me to rely on intuition, adding unpredictability and excitement to the creative process. Once the pigmented grout has cured on the glass, wooden forms are attached and a thin slab of grout is poured over the dried pigment. As it cures the pigments are absorbed and bonded. Finally the piece is pried from the glass, and turned over for "the reveal". The surface is then hand polished and sealed before being attached to a 2" thick rigid fiberglass and foam support.
ABOUT THE WORK
The work is durable and light enough to easily hang on standard drywall. The versatility of this medium allows for endless possibilities. The surface can be polished or carved without destroying the color, it can give the appearance of translucent glass or even metal. Texture, both subtle and pronounced, can be easily produced. My process can be reviewed on my YouTube channel, sporting 600,000 views with over 2,500 followers.
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