“Jigsaw Puzzle Interlayer” (Schenley Park Series)”/acrylic on canvas/ 21.5” x  23.5”/1994

“One person’s floor is another person’s ceiling,” he uttered, as rhythmic waves of feverish dancing surged through the ancient pressed tin”/ acrylic on canvas/ 21” x 31”/ 1994

“Boogying Down With The Ghosts of Oakdale Circle”/ acrylic on canvas/ 21” x 27”/ 1995

“September Breeze” (or “Hidden Anatomy of Miranda’s Circuit Breaker Panel... 200 Amps”)

Acrylic on canvas/ 24” x 30”/ 1994

“Reabsorbing black lines”/ acrylic on unbleached muslin/ 18” x 24”/1994

       “One Fifth of All Vacationers Surveyed Bring Their Laptops Along!”

                                 acrylic on canvas/ 48” x 60”/1995

“Centrifugal”/ acrylic on watercolor paper/ 23” X 18”/1993

       “Could I interest you in the Baba au Rhum, Mr. Titherington?”

                                 acrylic on canvas/ 20” x 24”/1995

“Perry diligently knitting a poncho from the ever shy (and extremely rare) light fibers of the subtle spheres”/ Acrylic on canvas/ 22” x 18.5”/ 1995

“Dancing Spring, White Mountains”/ Acrylic on canvas/ 39.5” x 46”/ 1997

“And it all hit the fan just as the raspberry mousse was about to be served...”

                                 Acrylic on canvas/ 46” x 39.5”/ 1991

“Untitled”/ Acrylic, colored pencil, and India Ink on paper/ 17.5” x 22.5”/ 1983

“Untitled”/ acrylic,colored pencil, and India Ink on paper/ 17.5” x 22.5”/1983

“Untitled”/acrylic on watercolor paper/18” x 23”/1996

William Arthur Mills

To this day, I am particularly influenced by the modern artists who came into prominence in the first half of the twentieth century. There are so many fascinating artists from this period that I am just catching up with a few of them now. For instance, I’m just beginning to see Francis Picabia and Joan Miro in a completely different light. A little later in twentith century, Gorky, William Baziotes, and especially the calligraphic abstract artists like Mark Toby, Adolph Gottlieb, and Bradley Walker Tomlin also held my fascination. In particular, Tomlin, one of the least famous of the famous “Irascibles”, was very influential in my early artistic development.

The Museum of Art of the Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute in my ‘home’ town of Utica, New York, own several of Tomlin’s paintings, so I was quite aware of him at a rather early age. These paintings were very much alive to me; and, in most instances, were much more vibrant and timeless than the neoclassical and Hudson River School collections in the other galleries down the hall.

Another enduring influence in my artistic development (whose paintings  also happen to be well represented in this same museum) is Charles Burchfield. These very unusual and extraordinary paintings continue to transfix me after all these decades. Burchfield’s glowing, other-worldly-scapes are amazingly vibrant and alluring. In particular, the deep, haunting heavens of “The Sphinx and the Milky Way”, glowing with translucent sphinx moths and boldly illumined contours, has captivated my sensibilities since preteen years.

Bradley Walker Tomlin

Most of all I was enthralled with Tomlin’s elegant lyrical-gestural style paintings. Some of the ones which still move me most deeply are from the years 1946 until his early death, at 54 years of age (in 1953, the year I was born). These paintings always reminded me of the colored chalkboard pictures that I did myself as a very young child. It was while drawing at a black chalkboard easel when I first became aware of the dazzling spacial affects one could achieve with these vibrant colored chalks. The colors assisted in producing these marvelous chalkboard affects, contributing to the powerful experience of motion, shape, and line.

Somehow these thought forms, frolicking in a Miro-like inner-scape, seemed more real to me than “real”. These vibrant, deeply stirring affects made with color and line ignited a sensation within me that rocked my little world. My young perception, at that point unpolluted by limited artistic concepts, was convinced that I was entering some strange uncharted territory. No other five year old or member of my family seemed interested, so for many years I decided to keep the magic of these experiences to myself; though, really, I wouldn’t of known where to begin communicating these things.

Sometime around my fourth year at the Portland School of Art (now Maine College of Art), I made a trip to Buffalo for a retrospective exhibition of Bradley Walker Tomlin at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. I saw many of Tomlin’s other paintings in this retrospective for the very first time, and was deeply inspired by this fascinating artist all over again. I was delighted to discover that his paintings were every bit as magical- maybe even more so-  than I had even remembered them to be. There even seemed to be a strong sense of spiritual ecstasy about them.

I was particularly moved by Tomlin’s unique brand of “automatism”, which seemed like a calligraphic celebration on canvas. I also believe his “Petal Painting” canvases are unparalleled in their uncanny sense of spacial depth and ‘sensation’. I bought the exhibition catalog all those years ago, which, incidentally, has been so appreciated that it is now held together with rubber bands. To this day, it is still very liberating for me to visit these phenomenal images, as they’re still every bit as striking to experience today as the first time I saw them.

I’ve long been told that my art is profusely infused with familiar shapes and associations from various forms in the ‘natural’ world. There have been sightings of shapes, creatures, and apparitions from many diverse manifestations of form. However, most often the images that people point out to me as resembling one thing or other, are, for the most part, completely non-intentional.

An intuitively conceived line, intercepted by other similarly developed  ones, make way for a myriad of possibly recognizable forms to behold. There have been sightings of bridges, armor, appliances, vapors, birds, popcorn, architectural motifs, fish, cement mixers, shoes, various animals, etc.

“Krishna Displaying His Universal Form”/mixed media on wood

Approximately 8” x 10”/ 2003/ Collection of Lynn Margelith

“Supreme Self”/ Ink on paper/ 10” x 8.5”/2004. Visit “The Cosmic Self” and “Illumined Words” Pages for similar images (inspired by Advaitic philosophy, A Course in Miracles, etc.)

“Calligraphic Tales”/1983