I use a lot of different materials in my art. I paint on my old sails adorned with grommets, tears, stitches, and stains. I paint on my old charts which are made of very good paper and given character with coffee spills, finger prints and lots of thoughts and emotions impregnated in them. I use all kinds of paints, thick and thin, and glues to glue on more canvases and charts. I have a lot of different collage materials that I use which include every kind of fragment from the schooner. Each piece shows wear and tear and has its own history, a life story complete with storm scars, strife and chafe. Bits of leather, wood, brass, bronze, canvas, burlap, and manila all retain the charisma of their heritage. The mixture of all these elements creates an alchemical brew that affects our physiology.
I've always used aggregates in my painting, but in 1987 when I realized I was going to depart the touch of terra firma longer than any human had, I started to use earth in earnest in all of my paintings. So bags of earth, sand, and sawdust of various colors and consistencies from many places became a standard part of my cargo aboard the schooner. I also use bits and pieces of my old paintings. Some were in an accidental welding fire onboard and they have burn marks on them. Some were under drips and have holes from rot and others have rust stains. Yet all of them have character from the exciting, demanding life they have been through.
I collage parts of my life into the paintings. There are pieces of press from magazines and newspapers with illustrations and stories about the life of an adventurer. I use my old photos, proposals, brochures, and out of date promo materials. I use my crew lists, clearance papers, ships papers, weather charts, and inventory diagrams. I recycle the paperwork and records of my life. All of these elements in the paintings create a vibratory rate that has dimension, body, and life that extends off the paintings in all directions.
All of the treasures and junk incorporated into the art are imbued with the hopes, anguish, and love of their own intentions. They were all supposed to have done something to help the missions on the sea succeed. Many of them did help. Some in ways I can't explain. Others had high hopes but never made it off the schooner to promote the voyage or fulfill their prophesies. The paintings are full of my words and the hands of other writers describing the fantastic art inspired voyages to sea.
From a distance, my art looks abstract. A closer look will show an old sailing course across a worn and torn chart or the minute details of where hundreds of items are stored. As often happens, finished paintings of the moment live a life and then they are used in another creation, on another adventure. All the materials of daily life on a sailboat find a place in my paintings.