The gardeners who let me in to work were, in a way, my collaborators. The Eden each gardener created influenced my paintings beyond just the plants or the neighborhood. I felt fortunate in being given access to them. Their gardens are personal spaces - intimate landscapes not only because of their scale, but also in the way they are used. They are private reprieves from the urban-ness all around us. In painting them I feel as though I know those places, and those people, in a unique way.
This body of work is on the more figurative end of my painting range. I have long followed the fine line between figuration and abstraction. I often get so lost in the space between objects or a particular light that I lose track of concrete representation of the objects or views. But in this series, a more figurative approach made sense. It wasn't an intellectual choice, but was arrived at through the act of painting, of committing to canvas something of my experience of these particular gardens. Since my access to many of these gardens was limited, and often the first time I saw them was when I arrived to paint them, they are painted very directly. The gate opened, I saw what was hidden behind it and I began to work. I feel the paintings contain some of the surprise and joy of first discovery. I hope you the viewer will give the paintings the time they need to reveal that to you.
Thomas Masters Gallery, 2004