Causal Reality (2017)

Oil on canvas — 48"h x 54"w

For The  Wonder Of It All

I am naturally curious about most things, athough I hesitate to say I am adventurous. I mean you don't see me skydiving or mountaineering or off-road biking like some friends do. I'm not that kind of thrill seeker, but I admire, sometimes envy, those who are. To each, their own.

Painting's a solitary business, often lonely. So I like sensual pleasures that feed my soul. I prefer intimate experiences like theatre, playing music, fine dining, dark chocolate, good coffee, long chats, sunsets and love making.


I'm a philosopher and a practicing yogi, a contemplative and a romantic. At times, a sage. I consider that "laws of nature" are not "laws" in the way humans have corrupted the term, but rather "laws" meaning inherent principles of order. There are natural cycles of mathmatics, geometry and pattern that govern Earthly realms as well as the expanding cosmos. It's in Fibonnaci's Golden Spiral. It's in Mandlebrot's Fractals.


It's a sacred, God-like force without dogma and damnation.  No good, no evil. Just what IS without judgement. Movement all by itself, and it's self-replicating by its own consciousness.

Isn't this the same drive that animates life, propels evolution and rotates our solar system? What else spins and expands the universe? Going the other way, is it not the same rhythm that beats our hearts, breathes our lungs and multiplies our cells? Around and around cycles go, each a part of another.

No two snowflakes are alike yet each one expresses its own unique, hexagonal geometry. Equally structured to make six points designed to latch onto one another until astronomical numbers of tiny ice crystals accumulate into drifting snow. Spread wide like grasses blanket the prairie. Put there over time to feed the streams and rivers when the snow melts.

Infinity expresses itself through endless creations, worlds within worlds, whole unto themselves but never complete.

So too is my art.

jpjp.RGB.jpg Bold and colorful modern abstract painting in oil on canvas.

RGB (2017)

Oil on canvas — 48"h x 54"w

Excitation (2017)

Oil on canvas — 36"h x 48"w

And so it follows that I would naturally gravitate toward making non-objective, abstract paintings. That I would paint kinetically and spontaneously. Each stroke a direct response to the preceding one. Repeating over time and space.


And so a visual dialogue happens. I witness and I observe. Shapes emerge before my eyes. Random marks and gestures frame multiple possibilities for compositions. But, decidedly, there can be only one. There's a flash of color here and a flash of color there — an instance in my mind's eye — and I know what to do. My instincts kick in.


So I open the channel and let it flow. I paint in response to what I learn from art, philosophy, science — and from life. And life springs eternal. I move from one canvas to another, one at a time. Each another piece in a living jigsaw puzzle.


I trust my heart and act with conscious intention.

Fragmentation I (2016) SOLD

Oil on canvas — 16"h x 16"w

Fragmentation II (2016) SOLD

Oil on canvas — 16"h x 16"w

Fragmentation III (2016) SOLD

Oil on canvas — 16"h x 16"w

Charged Particles (2016)       

Oil on canvas — 24"h x 24"w

Emergent Properties (2016) SOLD  Oil on canvas — 20"h x 20"w

Untitled Triptych (2017: 3 of 3)       

Oil on canvas — 30"h x 36"w (each),

112"h x 36"w (overall with gutters)

Assimilation (2012) — Oil on canvas — Diptych: 54"h x 88"w (overall) SOLD

Eruption (2016)

Oil on canvas — 30"h x 30"w

Atom Smasher (2016) SOLD

Oil on canvas — 28"h x 28"w

Fire and Ice (2016)       

Oil on canvas — 30"h x 30"w

White Hot Black and Blue (2017) SOLD

Oil on canvas — 48"h x 48"w



Encoding (2012)       

Oil on canvas — 48"h x 48"w



Wave Pattern (2016) SOLD (Commissioned for an Iowa City residence.)

Oil on canvas — 40"h x 60"w

Fourth Density (2016)       

Oil on canvas — 54"h x 40"w

Ever Expanding (2012)       

Oil on canvas — 40"h x 40"w

Emergence (2012)       

Oil on canvas — 40"h x 40"w

Taglines (2012)       

Oil on canvas — 40"h x 40"w

Upwelling (2012) SOLD

Oil on canvas — 46"h x 60"w

Breaking Through (2012) SOLD       

Oil on canvas — 40"h x 40"w

Spectra (2012) SOLD       

Oil on canvas — 30"h x 28"w

Cascade (2012)       

Oil on canvas — 46"h x 30"w

Dissemination (2012)       

Oil on canvas — 48"h x 30"w

"Urban Scrawl" (2003-05)

In the early 2000's, I shifted from making layered, full-palette abstractions to making simple designs in a minimal fashion. I was reducing my statement to just a few flat colors against vacant grounds of whites and pastels. It was fun for awhile, but it failed to hold my attention. The work was contrived and too easy, which became predictable and boring. So in favor of expressing more of what always felt germain to me, I returned to the richer complexity of layered, spontaneous markmaking. After all, this is why I paint.

Enticed by the grit and grime of city streets, like weathered concrete, rusty signs, graffiti and pavement markings left by utility workers, I set out to capture the energy and vibration of these urban textures in this series called "Urban Scrawl", which made its debut exhibition in 2005 along with this film documentary produced by Mon Zah Films.

Inner City Playground (2004) SOLD

Oil on canvas — 60"h x 72"w

The project got good press, the film won some awards and the collection toured Canada with exhibits in Montreal and British Columbia.


The paintings later returned to the U.S., landng another show at Gallery IMA in Seattle, WA.

Several paintings sold along the journey, and the remaining paintings eventually shipped back home to Cedar Rapids, IA, where they were stored away in my studio.

In 2010, the remains of "Urban Scrawl" were sold into the permanent art collection at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids. These paintings, along with hundreds of my original Gazette illustrations (also purchased in 2010), can be found hanging in campus buildings.

After "Urban Scrawl", I turned away from abstraction until 2012 to make a realist series of conceptual still life studies based on personal affects and autobiographical themes.


Film trailer / "Urban Scrawl: Paintings and Process"

By Mon Zah Films, Directed by Kirk Monson

These are the featured speakers in order of appearance:

Stan WiederspanWiederspan Gallery, Cedar Rapids, IA

David Douglas Hall, Jr., MFA — Painter, art professor (retired)

The late Wendell MohrWatercolorist, teacher and mentor

Five and Time (2003) SOLD       

Oil on canvas — 40"h x 40"w

1900 Block (2003) SOLD

Oil on canvas — 40"h x 40"w

Intersection (2003) SOLD

Oil on canvas — 40"h x 40"w

Latch Key (2003) SOLD

Oil on canvas — 40"h x 40"w

Five Alive (2004) SOLD

Oil on canvas — 40"h x 40"w

Traffic (2004) SOLD 

Oil on canvas — 40"h x 40"w

Ground Zero Revisited (2004) SOLD

Oil on canvas — 40"h x 40"w

Photo courtesy of Gallery IMA in Seattle, WA

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