Uptight Longhand Shifts Gestural

My Verticality Series started out with an exploration of deconstructing cursive longhand writing and using disciplined upward or vertical movements. This series is also an exercise in merging painting, drawing, and gesturalism. (Gesturalism is the act of putting down emotional gestural marks on the painted or drawn surface that reflects the unique hand of the individual artist). I coined the term gesturalism as it seems to fit me, a gesturalist, which I also coined (so I think anyway).


I can’t help but think how the School Sisters of Notre Dame (nuns) in my grade school environment would react to the looseness and pure expressionism of how I’m writing and “discussing” issues with myself in the act of creating these paintings.

I used to have to stay after school until I got my “penmanship” correct according to the nuns. Until it met their idea of perfection. Little did they know I’m mildly dyslexic and I would never copy words or letter pairs correctly. Nor would I stay in the lines.

Could this series be a long-delayed reaction to that environment, that rigid, constricting structure? It’s possible, as these things can lie dormant for decades only to resurface when you’re finally able to process them with emotional intelligence. I think I’m moving in an entirely new and interesting direction as a reaction to it. And it is my way of celebrating a break from that. Or at least I’m thinking about it now from an entirely new perspective.


As I pour myself into my work, there’s a lot of emotion and expression that comes out of me, both in terms of how I vigorously apply the paint, but also as I write in a scripting, journaling kind of way such as in Verticality 317 11 for instance.

“Gesture journaling” is how I refer to my process of art making. As I work, I’m thinking of words, but when they come out on the painted canvas they manifest themselves as both vigorous and subtle journal gesture entries to myself. A non-objective record of my thoughts and my emotions at the moment of the act of painting. Purposely not readable, but the emotion in the work is readable and has meaning—at least to me. My buyer/collectors tell me they get it, they feel the emotion through the color and the movement.


I like the hybrid between painting and drawing I’m achieving. A blending of both painted or drawn “journal entries.” Additionally, I’m applying the paint or using the scribing tool in an upward motion—up and off the top of the canvas. That’s by design as it signifies getting to a higher level and above the fray.