I approach my work as I would a thesis, by proposing to create paintings on a theme which speaks to me. For example, Big Easy Abstracts, inspired by the New Orleans French Quarter. Or Italian Journey, after my several travels there. Then I choose a medium and a format which complement the theme.
This approach no doubt derives from my 35 years of university teaching and administrative work, during which I assigned and critiqued student work, as well as producing paintings of my own. I feel, too, that my Graphics background has enriched my compositional skills and my understanding of color, texture, line and pattern -- all the elements used to create a varied but unified whole. I am particularly sensitive to the surface quality of the paint itself.
After settling on a theme, I usually work on a number of paintings simultaneously, 12 or 15 as a rule. I work a little on one, then on another and another, solving problems as I go. Ultimately I arrive at a series that constitutes a whole -- likely a process similar to writing a novel or composing a ballet. One idea generates another, as in the production of most any of the arts.