When I start a painting, my inspiration often starts with colors that I see in nature. I am drawn to combinations of colors that I want to paint- for example, a warm yellow orange combined with blue and violet, or a pale pink combined with a bluish grey. It is not so much the subject that matters to me as far as representing it in a traditional way. The subject becomes a vehicle for my expression of color and composition. As I work, I change the location of the subject until it fits in the space on the canvas in an interesting way. It needs to create a relationship with the edges of the canvas and create interesting negative shapes in the background.
I like to keep a sense of mystery in my paintings. That is why they are not too representational. I think it is this abstract quality that allows a viewer to contemplate and to live with the painting. I often work on a painting for weeks or months, building up the colors as I let the layers dry. As I build up the colors, the colors underneath are very important in creating a sense of depth. Part of my process also involves allowing a painting to sit for a while before finishing it so that I can look at it objectively. I am bold with changes if something is not working, even if it means ultimately ruining the painting. Creating unsuccessful paintings is an important part of my process because I always learn from them. I believe that I cannot be afraid while painting; it is this boldness that surprises me in the end and makes me fall in love with the work.
Quote from Wolf Kahn:
"All my paintings come down to a simple issue- in this case a seesaw balance between one thing and another. And as far as I’m concerned, the simpler the issue, the better. When a work becomes too descriptive, too much involved with wha’s actually out there, then there’s nothing else going on in the painting, and it dies on you."