Cortland, Nice, France
“A dusk red cape swirls into the night below the approaching autumn sky”
More than anything else I do with my art, the way I use color is my most personal expression.
For me color is a fiesta, a dance, a beckoning piñata. Blending it into subtle nuances or using it in dramatic counterpoint brings me a sense of tremendous well being. I choose a color based on “vibratory receptivity”. When I see, and feel blue at the same moment I know it is right for me to put blue into the work where I’ve seen it. There is something very instinctive/intuitive about the process, but, at the same time it is also very environmental; I’ve noticed that the color structure of the palette I use, and the way I see colors changes based on the light of the different locations in which I’ve lived.
As a child I was fascinated by natural phenomena. The enormous force of large ocean waves crashing down upon the shore, the stark contrasts of vibrant colour, the unexpected movement of the earth beneath my feet, are all aspects of the California landscape which still resonate deeply within me. Living in proximity to such powerful energies, and beauty allowed me to develop a serene and respectful appreciation for nature. The more I became aware of my surroundings; the more I felt the need to express my feelings in a personal way. I vividly recall the amazing sense of completion I felt when I finished my first original painting. Everything seemed to glow around me, and I had the marvellous feeling of being inhabited by a sparkling light. This was the first bend in the road.
The six weeks I spent touring Japan in 1970 were a crucial turning point in my life. I encountered a people whose culture, rituals, ceremony, discipline, and sense of aesthetics provoked, and challenged me in the most subtle of ways. I learned to move through space differently, to better appreciate the moment, to laugh in recognition, and to feel at ease with the invisible. A defining sense of vocation accompanied home.
New York City is a place of intersections, and corners. You are continually crossing, going around, or running into something. I began to paint seriously after having moved there. I couldn’t afford to pay for classes or study in art schools, so I spent as much time as I could wondering through museums, visiting exhibitions, looking through magazines, and reading books. Picasso, Van Gogh, Pollock, and Gorky were early influences, and remain favourites, but my library now contains references from nearly every important school of art, and these are complimented by numerous volumes corresponding to a variety of cultures. My personal iconography is a result of cultural free association, and inventiveness.
I wasn’t sure what I would find when I crossed the Atlantic ocean over two decades ago. Something inside of me knew that making the trip was necessary, and essential, so I swung around another curve, and landed in Paris. I’ve always trusted feelings like the ones which brought me to France because they have a magic dreamlike quality which nourishes my vision of a world without boundaries. One of my goals with my painting is to express that sense of magic. I’ve had the opportunity to visit a number of cities, and places in Europe, and with each new stop along the way my collection of remarkable memories continues to grow.
Cortland, spring 2006
The Trading Cards
Cortland in the Collections of
SAS Prince Rainier of Monaco
and Private Collections
Mr. and Mrs. Heinrich Apeldoorn, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Mr. and Mrs. Pier Le Colas, Arcachon, France
Mr. and Mrs. John Martin, Paris, France
Ms. Christel Trochon, Lille, France
Mr. Phillip Commero, Paris, France
Mr. Henri Bronne, Monaco
Maitre James Hill, Monaco
Maitre Robert Cersola, Nice, France
Mr. Nick O'Conor, Nice, France
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph O'Conor, Melbourne, Australia
Mr. and Mrs. Cory Falikoff, Los Angeles, California, USA
Mr. and Mrs. David Eisenberg, Los Angeles, California, USA
Mr. and Mrs. Michael Eisenberg, Los Angeles, California, USA
Mr. Arthur Bennet Kouwenhoven Jr, Savannah, Georgia
Ms. Janice Manley, New York, New York, USA
Dr. Ken Ketay, and Ms. Joyce Ketay, New York, New York, USA
Mr. Harvey Donnegan, New York, New York, USA
Mr. Joel Bogart, New York, New York, USA
Ms. Patricia Pardini, New York, New York, USA
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Blim, Fernley Nevada, USA
Ms. Rae Dunn, California, USA
Mr. and Mrs. Edmond Guizol, Vallauris, France
Dr. and Mrs. Lucio Pinto, Milan, Italy
Mr. Patrice Stoffel, Switzerland
Ms. Aube Ellouet, Saché, France