Painting got really interesting when I decided to paint nothing.
To put it another way, I don’t look to the external world to find subject matter. There are no “things” that I observe and then abstract from. My subject matter is the moment-to-moment engagement between myself, and the marks I make on the canvas—painting as an activity of being present.
In my research I learned that, centuries ago, Eastern philosophers had intuited an understanding of the universe that is harmonious with modern physics. Simply by searching inward, they had come to the same conclusions Einstein and others proved thousands of years later. Since that realization, I’ve been exploring Eastern Philosophies, modern physics and their convergence with great relish. There are principles of each that I’ve incorporated into my process.
In making these paintings, I’m asking myself: What happens when I shed all preconceptions? Where can following my intuition take me? Where can I go if I look inward for inspiration? What I’ve found is a way to paint that is both liberating and filled with personal discovery.
My process starts with observing the blank canvas. That is what inspires me –literally, nothing. The next step is to make the first mark. That step inspires the next. The process is a self-contained journey, a dynamic of action and reflection until I arrive at what feels like a vista, one I had not previously imagined.
The key to this process is relinquishing preconception, being receptive rather than thinking, imagining or planning, staying in the moment and letting the process take me where it’s going to go. As the resulting work comes into focus, I feel as though I’m uncovering something rather than creating it through volition. I know I’m finished when the image before me feels like a discovery, something I’m seeing for the first time.
David graduated from Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore in 1995 with a BFA. He majored in Communication Arts and began working as an illustrator right out of college illustrating for publications such as Macworld, SF Chronicle, Harvard Magazine, USCF Magazine, American Express, and others. Despite success as a professional Illustrator, it was important for David to cultivate a personal artistic direction, so he continued to explore painting and sculpture on his own terms through experimentation with realistic, abstract, conceptual and non-objective styles.
After several years of this exploration he settled in to what he wanted to paint and pursue as an artist. This resulted in bodies of work that strive to capture the ineffable, emotional response one has while feeling connected to the natural environment. This connection David feels cannot be captured through realistic interpretation but rather through emulating the cycles, struggles, and harmonious conflicts ever present in the natural world through paint and composition.