The ocean studies originated on the coast of Fire Island, near my family's home. I was initially drawn to the site by an enduring fascination with the threshold between sea and shore. My focus soon shifted, as I became increasingly intent upon the substance and movements of the ocean itself. The preliminary exercise, to draw the course of a single wave from crest to break, initiated a struggle to find the media and marks best suited to the subject. Quick, gestured lines best capture the volume in motion, while tone forms the textured, rolling surface. The surface is sculpted to evoke the ocean's swell, the sense of bulging out from and collapsing into a void, and is carved to articulate crest and trough. The wave appears as a multi-faceted event within a surface, with moments of activity balanced by areas of latency. The wave drawings, having shed any sense of place, are isolated frames of frozen motion or portraits. The paintings and drawings of the ocean describe the threshold between sea and sky. The formidable horizon defines a limit, while the edges of the frame subside. A vacuous central gulf replaces the swell. The ocean is an impenetrable identity, an infinitely enigmatic chasm, and an inexhaustible subject to explore through drawing.
Ocean, 2006 - 10'6"x4'6" - Conte crayon and gesso on canvas
Untitled - 24"x36" - Charcoal on paper
The Beacon - Cork, Ireland
24x36, Conte & Gesso on Canvas, June 2015
24"x36" - Charcoal and Conte on paper
Ocean Frame Series - 150"x30"
Ocean Frame 1 - 30"x30" - Conte and Gesso on board
Ocean Frame 2 - 30"x30" - Conte and Gesso on board
Ocean Frame 3 - 30"x30" - Conte and Gesso on board
Ocean Frame 4 - 30"x30" - Conte and Gesso on board
Ocean Frame 5 - 30"x30" - Conte and Gesso on board