Excerpt from Systems, thesis for my 1995 BFA from Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, OR
Questioning Systems of Composition
One night, late, in the studio, a fellow student came to me wondering whether he had had a flash of insight into the numbered grid on my canvas or was simply exhausted. He asked delicately if the numbers might stand in for what is normally the decision-making required to make a painting. Chris Wright paints realistic still lifes and he told me that night that only a quarter of his process is applying paint. The other three quarters is problem solving, like a game of chess. His flawless, realistic images are magical to the non-painter precisely because his problem solving process is invisible. Chris might be quite aware of the reasoning behind his decisions. Another painter might make intuitive (impulsive) compositional choices based on training and experience - tools which have become unconscious. I'm attempting to pull that unconscious basis back out of the darkness by substituting another system to make a composition.