Data Entry Paintings

2014-2015 (North Carolina)

As a professional web person and applications manager, I spend a lot of time working in grid-like environments. There is the almost-literal grid of website content structure and the more conceptual grid of the database table, both engaged in an attempt to perfect the distribution of, what for me, is mostly bureaucratic information.

Grid of 6" x 6" paintings on studio wall.
Loose grid of 6″ x 6″ paintings in the initial data entry stages.

One day, I was wandering around the Walmart “shopping for images” as Allen Ginsberg says, and I found a stack of Daler Rowney 6″ x 6″ pre-stretched canvases in the crafts section. I immediately bought the entire lot and took them back to my studio. For the next several weeks, I set about constructing the paintings above in order to create a kind of personal grid containing “data elements” that referenced an inner landscape of snow, trees, mountains, and houses, all consumed by a vague sense of aftermath.

These square paintings are built up from multiple layers as I consciously “overwrote” initial concepts in order to move towards “better data integrity.” In the process, however, I attempted to preserve artifacts of the substrata that seemed like they would disrupt the “successful functioning” of my imagined database. Areas of damaged paint or lines that represented a previous but failed “entry” were of particular appeal and were incorporated into the final picture.