My process begins with walking Provincetown beaches and streets searching for pieces of painted wood. I carry the wood to my studio, pull old nails, stack according to color and wait for the wood to tell me what it wants to be. I have learned to pay attention—and know how far to modify, with minimal carpentry, the old wood—to join, sandwich together or curve the pieces.
The subject matter—the sea, fishing vessels, architecture, still life, along with inspiration from the early Provincetown Modernists Blanche Lazzell, Kenneth Stubbs, Karl Knaths, Robert Motherwell—place me on the artistic continuum of Provincetown.
The point of using found wood is that, as debris, it seems unpromising. But that lack of promise is also its appeal. The peeling paint, the color scrubbed by salt waves, sand or human use allows you to recognize the influence of its past. My principle parameter is that the wood must be found in Provincetown. The second is not to paint that wood, whose patina is impossible to duplicate. The wood had experience as a boat or floorboard and remembers its past. I interfere with what it originally was, to make it something else: a sculpture that includes some aspect or detail from the wood’s archeological memory.