In all my work, I paint square by square, row by row. The painting may appear digitized but is meticulously hand painted. I've always used the grid to scale up my photos though previously I would have made sure the paint concealed the pencil marks.
My method now is to leave traces of the process to create a tension between the image and the squares of tone and colour which are reassembled by the viewer’s eye. I think about Gerhard Richter as I make all those choices in each square of the grid – deciding how much and where to blur things. Each square ends up being an abstract painting in a way.
Artists since the Renaissance have scaled up their images, but in the modern era the grid becomes a subject unto itself underscoring the abstraction. The frontality and regularity of the grid has been explored as a separate subject matter in contemporary art by such artists as Chuck Close, Brice Marden, and Agnes Martin.
My row by row construction of a realist image is meant to reveal the abstraction of the paint handling, the history of the technique, and to connect these with a contemporary digital environment.
In my series that include the figure, I’m interested in the layers of transformations – from the transformation of the model, to the photoshopped image, which then becomes a ubiquitous image seen in grocery store aisles and on coffee tables. Unlike the mass produced glossy magazine cover, paint is a kind of skin, a unique surface. The use of found imagery echoes Warhol's use of tabloid photographs of Liz, Marilyn and Elvis and also the early paintings of Gerhard Richter who also employed the strategy of using newspaper images as his source material.
I’ve recently returned to painting flowers. My main interest has always been light and how it reveals or conceals shapes in space and the floral form allows me to continue to explore these concerns.