Wolff Land is the geographical state of my imagination. In my mind it is an actual place where islands are limned in gold as the sea tongues up fantastic shores.
Sphinxes wade through clear golden water among huge fields of grass (Sphinxland), hybrid dream creatures have multi canvas adventures (Catspider) and sometimes faces of friends show up (Portraits). The stories are driven by movement and color: stars unfol)d in vertical clouds over a mountainside
of blue thistles (The Mermaid’s Feet), a man wanders through a falling down house as birds fly through his heart (Waltz). But always I try to paint the
impossible: Light—light of the sun on objects, on water, the light of stars, the light around an amazing event; the light of love.
I was born in California, but moved east when I was very young. I grew up climbing trees, reading and drawing. I went to Pratt Institute thinking I would be going into graphic arts, but soon realized I was just going to be painting. Art school was useful in that it gave me time to mess around, be influenced, think heavy art student thoughts and be blissfully untethered to the working world. After leaving I began studying physical disciplines and before long I was training to be a circus performer. I was one of the original Big Apple Circus members. So I ran away to the circus and became a catcher in a double trapeze act. While on the road I didn’t make art, but I did paint in my head.
On returning to NYC I immediately starting painting again, but fortunately by then I had become thoroughly uninfluenced. I began painting as a maximalist (minimalism had been the big deal while I was in art school). It was then that what I do now began to have traction. My younger self would have been pleased with the pictures. The trick was to get the current version equally OK.
I went back to school and got a massage license so I could pay the rent. I later studied martial arts and taught them, and after that Pilates and Jin Shin Jyutsu. All of which enabled me to keep painting. Along the way I published two books: Catcher, a painted children’s book based on my circus experience and Bread & Wine, a graphic novel with Samuel R Delany.