At a very young age I started studying and drawing maps. The first maps I ever saw may have been the highway maps stashed in our Ford Country Squire station wagon’s glove box. By my teens I had a map and atlas collection totaling well over a thousand and spent my free time engorged in cartography.
My fascination with maps led me to study cartography at UC Santa Barbara and followed with creating maps for faculty at UCLA. Imagine the effect of spending much of a lifetime intimately tracing coasts, rivers, highways and more. Inevitably the visual rhythms of geography largely created my visual sensibility, that is, my sense of what works or does not work visually. I would dare say it has even seeped into my DNA.
The interplay of a lifetime of maps and my fine art painting became most apparent in the late 1980’s when I started to create map paintings. Their purpose was not to explain the geography of a place but rather to use the essence of geographic forms to re-express them in an entirely new way.
Today my paintings still echo their geographic foundation. Whether it is translating the essence of the sand patterns made by the waves on Baker Beach or the dusty Kalahari as seen from a plane. My latest series, Morphic, adds in the influence of landscape views such as the view from my ridge top studio off Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles. This new series represents a significant shift from the two-dimensional map view to an abstract composition that implies a three dimensional space.