“ If poetry doesn’t come as naturally as leaves to a tree, then it isn’t poetry at all.” John Keats

Quite frequently I’m asked where my ideas come from or from where I get my inspiration. Often people new to modern or abstract art but who are drawn to my paintings ask me if their interpretation of the work is an acceptable one or if it’s o.k. to “see things” in my art. Just as often, I’m pleasantly surprised by the unique insights and fresh perspectives offered by an audience looking at new paintings.

Contemplating the body of work Cantos for the Trees, I’m aware that for me the path to new art is a journey of intuition and trust, somewhat serpentine and mysterious and the meaning of the work only reveals itself during or after the act of creation. The diversity of improvisational and experimental elements that conspire to make the paintings often appear delightfully synchronistic and fortuitous in retrospect. Almost unbelievably coincidental at times.

The Cantos group of paintings are essentially visual poems or songs to the elements of nature most specifically the trees of the Rocky Mountain forest eco-system. Painted during an independent residency at the Banff Centre in 2010, the whole tenor of my time there seemed some what somewhat elegiac and reflective. Coincidentally I was taking long solitary walks in the woods reading The Global Forest a new collection of forty poetic refrains by Canadian renegade scientist Diana Beresford-Kroeger and Sacred Earth – Writers on Nature and Spirit. In the studio I was listing to high octane jazz/rock/ blues fusion of sort that I have loved since my teens. Yet even I was surprised at the epic power of the stark primeval gestures that presented themselves in the work – almost in spite of my attempts to take the paintings in a more optimistic directions.

My paintings often seem to arrive unannounced, like music – the rhythm and pulse of nature – the breath of the earth. I welcome uncertainty – listening to the earth – listening to the light.