The cutaway wood frame house I use in a number of my paintings popped into my head probably because I was rebuilding a small 19th century frame house and it presented itself so firmly, I felt I had to pursue it in my work. I found exposing the internal structure of such humble buildings both faintly funny and a bit poignant, a sort of fragile stand in for the mundane . The first ones I painted were more schematic, droll versions of a modernist frame, but gradually, I began to see the cutaway house as more of a stage that housed quotidian narratives, much as those abbreviated marble structures in the Renaissance housed Biblical narratives. And I began to present the structure more in the warped, decayed, termite-ridden state that I actually found it, and objects in the dented, bent, worn out state they eventually assume, partly because it gave me more of a chance to explore rhythms I’ve always found pictorially interesting, partly because it felt like an honest view of the world as an entropic place, and partly because it’s funny. Sometimes I stray out of the house to find a crazy beat up ship or a lone chimney, but the feeling stays much the same.
When I was working on this series I felt a tension between how I depicted or rendered recognizable objects and how I made them part of a more abstract space.
Rather than working from observation or preparatory drawings, I began instead by drawing with charcoal directly on the surface, establishing a sort of scaffold on which to "hang" the imagery. As certain bits-figures objects or abstract forms (that I felt had a likeness to actual objects) presented themselves, I began to develop some of them along with the overall structure.
I was interested in the process of memory, ie. which lines, as I was drawing, seemed to conjure objects and what part of my experience the objects/images referenced - cultural (film, art, cartoons) or daily gesture, or even gesture reinterpreted via a cultural mash up.