Sie sind auf Seite 1von 94


The Twentieth Century has expressed one primary achievement for the works of an artist to

be considered "historically important." From my earliest years, my father repeated it and repeated it,

"Innovation is the key to success!" It took me forty years, but I have finally created my own style of

painting, a gift to leave my profession, and I hope, the opportunity to bring pleasure to those who

experience my work. Though this is a book about a painting technique, it is also about this artist's

journey of discovery and enlightenment. I hope you will enjoy this material and possibly learn for

yourself the joys that I have found in painting in a style I have come to call "Matricism," painting the


For a simple introduction, may I say that I go by Christian, and I am a painter. I say this in

the most simple terms. I have spent my life learning all the different ways other painters designed

and executed their paintings. As the son of an artist, I have been creating pictures for over forty

years, and in that time I have tried my hand at almost every style of painting there is, from Dutch

Miniature Realism to Abstract Expressionism. My father once told me, “Son, you’re pretty good at

everything, but a master of none of them,” yet he hated seeing me copy a master’s style. He also

said, “Innovation is the key to success!”

I was born a dreamer, gifted with enough talent to react, and taught from my earliest years to

go out and find myself. One of the problems I faced was that I was from the first generation who

had to seriously consider the possible truth of the famous statement of Motherwell’s: “There comes

a time when one reaches the Pacific so to say, and there is no where else to go. This and future

generations of artist will have no art of their own; they will only make great refinements on past

styles.” That statement haunted me my entire life, and my goal has been to prove him wrong. This

text represents my best effort to do so. Though it is up to others to say if I have, it seems that I am
creating paintings unlike any I have ever seen, and they are constructed with a technique that has

never been documented before. A friend from the Dallas Museum told me that my techniques had

been theorized by the early Pointillists, but back then, there was no acceptable art form to apply it at

the time. Remember that back then true modernism had not come into being.

I have created this text for the student of painting and those just interested in the art of

painting and Matricism. I am not a writer but with the help of family, friends, and associates, I

believe that with this book, we have presented proof positive that Motherwell was wrong.

You are going to find that this book is different from all the others you have read. I am

going to show you a new way to use all that you have learned about building a pictorial statement

and a new form of color mixing. What we are going to do is dig down to the basic elements of all

the decisions you have learned to make while painting and show you a new way to use them. The

style of painting presented in this book goes down to the core of color analysis. Why do we mix a

defined color on our palette? Why is it a light color or why is it a dark color? Why is it intense or

neutral, why is it red, blue, yellow, or orange? In the past, the answers have always been made on a

set of assumptions based on subject matter, be it Realism or Abstract Expressionism. There have

been three basic ways artists have made color decisions. The primary method used by painters when

deciding what color to mix up has been based on direct observation. Another form is based on the

science or theories of light and color where the artist uses a combination of formula analysis and

observation. The third way that artists have made their color decisions has been through a form of

subjective reasoning developed through trial and error during their developmental years, a total

subjective approach of what works for them. This is the primary form used by illustrators.

This is a new form of color analysis that will enable you to express yourselves on canvas in a

way you never dreamed of before. For myself, the theories presented here have changed the way I
conceive a painting, the subject mater that is possible, and the entire construction process. For an

artist who has spent so much of his lifetime wandering around his environment looking for

something to paint, this discovery was nothing short of gaining my wings and finding freedom at


It doesn't matter if you are a student or a professional; the most exciting opportunity for all

painters is to find ways to keep evolving and exploring new ground. This technique is like a new

language with which a painter can speak his or her own thoughts and ideas in an entirely new way.

When executed successfully, it allows us to harmonize multiple elements of design into one

expanded cohesive statement. As a creative tool, Matricism will open up your mind to new themes,

give you a new way to express old themes, and make far more complex themes possible. My hope

is that this book will open up new avenues for you to explore and breathe new life into your art. For

those of us who have confined our painting to subjects within our environment, Matricism is a way

to open up the vast realm of subjects that can come only from your imagination. It's an opportunity

to express the surreal and the abstract, an opportunity to have your other interests in life play a part

in your art. If you can incorporate what you learn from reading about my own explorations in

Matricism, I predict that you will experience an explosion of ideas and a level of enthusiasm that

you haven't felt since you first picked up a brush. There is nothing more exciting than going to a

place you've never been, expressing ideas that are all your own, and just maybe giving the world

something it has never had before. This is my contribution to us all, and I sincerely hope it will open

new doors for you.



Matricim is a painting technique where the practitioner attempts to design a matrix or

formula that will dictate as many answers as possible for every decision needed throughout the entire

process of pictorial development. It is a process of breaking down a color decision into its basic

components for separate forms of analysis.


1. A place or an enclosing or surrounding substance within

which something originates or develops, as a rock in which

a mineral is embedded. 2. That which gives form, foundation,

or origin to something else enclosed in it, as a mold for

casting metal.


Once you gain an understanding of this technique, you will see why the word "Matricism" is

used to describe this style of painting. What gives Matricism its unique abilities comes from the fact

that we have changed the criteria we use to make color decisions. What is a color decision? We

answer that question by breaking it down to its "intercellular construction." The independent parts

of a color decision are:

A. The Hue (Red, Yellow, Green, etc.,)

B. The Value (light or dark)

C. Intensity or Neutrality (bright or dull)

To each of these three, we design pattern designations an use numerical divisions to create

variables. These variables can then be used to create formulas that give precise answers for our

questions on colors and their location on the canvas. They are also used to fuse different designs or

elements of different designs into one.

In the art of painting, we have all learned the basic rules about color in three-dimensional

representation. The value of a color depends upon how much light there is on our subject and the

relationship with the values of our shadows. We also know that a color is neutralized according to

its depth into the picture plane and its relationship within the entire work. In Matricism, we assign

numerical evaluations just as artists have done for hundreds of years. You can find these techniques

if you study the history of palette development. In most of my paintings, I use Nine degrees of

Value and Six degrees of Neutrality. By assigning grid designations encompassing the three-

dimensional cube of space represented in our paintings, numerical equations can be an effective

denominator within a larger matrix. We can also use numerical formulas to mix two or more

designs. Keep in mind that this is not as difficult as it may sound. Skill in mathematics is not a

requirement for using formulas in painting, but the ability to view three-dimensionality within the

confines of your mind can be of great assistance.

As painters, you have been developing all the abilities needed in order to begin your own

explorations in Matricism. Most of the techniques shown in this book are based on very elementary

theories and color analysis. You can work with relatively simple approaches or make them as

complex as desired. The use of numerical equations plays only a small part in designing a matrix.

There are many types of variables one can use as denominators in equations, for example:

Numbers (A) 123456…, 20 30 40 50..., etc.

(B) 45 degrees, 2 inches, every 4th…

(C) 5th, 6th, skip 1, add 3, skip 2...

(D) Expand 10%, 30%, 50%....

Directions (A) Right angles, circle out, S-curve.

(B) Up 2 in. 90 degrees right, 2 in. up.

(C) Repeat from bottom to top.

(D) Go under, over, back under, etc.

(E) Three red dots around each black dot.

(F) Increase value 2/3rds each step.

Shapes (A) Put a square in every circle.

(B) Use parallel lines.

(C) Put a square in every circle.

(D) Crisscross S-shaped lines.

(E) Put three blue dots in a triangle pattern

around each white dot.

These are all examples of variables we can use to create matrix formulas. As you progress

through this book, you will see how a matrix or formula can be created out of a combination of these

types of variables, but keep in mind that the advanced painter will not stay scientific and rigid in

adhering to a formula. Subjectivity in every decision is desired, for that is where your “art” will

merge with the science. A matrix analysis of a pictorial statement can be as simple or as difficult as

the practitioner's ability will allow.

Many of my generation remember when the schools changed from teaching what was called

the "old math" to a "new math." Though these new formulas were difficult to learn at first, once

they were mastered they made it much easier to make more difficult calculations. Remember that

this is a tool for expressing yourself in painting, not a pure science, so any type of variable can

apply, one that will describe a movement, location, a sequence, or an execution process that only

you can understand. Artists have been searching for a scientific way of painting all through history,

but they wanted one that would allow them to paint what they wanted from the real world. This was

impossible as the pointillists discovered. Matricism is a scientific technique where the practitioner

finds subject matter to apply it to, which does confine us to the world of surrealism.

Matrix analysis offers the painter a fabulous degree of expansion within the realm of pictorial

expression. We can harmonize or fuse together every type of pictorial statement imaginable:

abstract or geometric designs, symbols, characters, realistic subject matter (faces, landscapes, etc.),

surrealistic images, or maybe some crazy ideas from the fantastic expanse of your imagination.

The Evolution of Matricism

To explain the qualities of Matricism and how and why it was developed, I must tell you

how it evolved. The most important thing a painter does is to commit color mixtures to memory.

This is done through years of observation from life and/or years of trial and error through subjective

analysis. It is color that takes the best of us decades to master. In effect, this is the primary reason

most artists paint only one way with a limited range of subject matter. In my own case, I am the

product of many different teachers, via the technique books of the last few decades. I have studied

the art of painting primarily through the written word. For much of my learning, I had to dissect
many books over and over. This has played a major part in my desire to create a scientific process

that could be expressed in a written language. One of my primary influences came from the man

who turned me on to portraiture, John Howard Sanden. In the years before he wrote his first book,

he did a study on flesh tones used by the masters. His research was published in his first book,

Painting the Head in Oil . Never had I seen a book laid out so well. Besides being a major influence

on my development as a portraitist, he had an important influence on my current work. Sanden

started me on my quest to develop a code system to study, compare, and remember how different

paintings were built. He was the first painter who put into his book a precise scientific formula for

mixing up a color. I had never tried to rely on the lithograph prints in books, for I knew that the ink

was incorrect.

A Sanden style formula: Mix 84 inches of White,

12 inches of Yellow Ocher, 3 inches of Cad.

Red, and 1 inch of Cerulean Blue.

At last I could mix up the color a book was calling for without having to rely on the quality of the

color plates used in the book. This started me on the course of developing a code to write formulas

that I could use as a form of notes when studying different artists’ techniques. I've only had the

opportunity to study the works of great painters when there was a traveling show in the area and

during a few quick trips to New York. Having the opportunity to make duplicates like European

students is almost nonexistent in this country. I needed a way to know exact color mixtures, so I

developed codes consisting of variables that could be placed into formulas. With these, I could go

back to the studio and experiment till I had a resemblance of their efforts. These formulas served me

well as a young student seeking an understanding of how different artists worked. This personal

form of note-taking has played a part in my experiments in Matricism. Sanden gave me a fantastic
tool that I could use in studying all forms of painting and one important step towards the

development of Matricism.

I was a professional Portrait Painter, trained to do my color analysis from observation. I

selected portraiture as a profession because it was the most demanding form of painting, always

challenging my abilities. Once one learns to do a fine portrait, the challenge is always there to get

better and to perform faster. There is no end to how much one can learn to say with less, but what

always ate at me was the fact that an artist is an inventor and explorer; a Portraitist is considered by

most as a highly skilled craftsman.

I believe that every artist

eventually comes to the point when

it is time to shake it all loose and

paint something altogether new--to

let go and express something

altogether different, to create

something that will reach out and

grab the viewer in an entirely new

way. For me, that nagging desire

manifested itself in Matricism. The

first step in coming up with a new

way to express myself was to create a new way of making my color decisions. As a painter from

life, I knew that a given color mixture was 64% white + 18% Cad. Red Lt. + 12% Yellow Ocher +

6% Ult. Blue. Any other color mixture for that given job was wrong. I was looking for a way to

paint that made color analysis easy, forgiving, and down right fun. I wanted all the answers to all

my color decisions before I started.

Paris Street Scene

The painting "Paris Street Scene" is the first type of finished product where I made all the

color decisions prior to executing the painting. It is what I now consider a

transition piece, which eventually led to the development of Matricism.

The technique used in Lithograph Printing was part of the inspiration for

this first type of construction.

The matrix for this painting "Paris Street Scene" was as follows:

Step 1. Paint a street scene as an underpainting in black and

white (like painting a black and white photo).

Step 2. Cover the entire canvas with blue dots. Use Ult. Blue

and add white to change value. Match the value of the

individual dots to the value of the underpainting.

Make each dot with a palette knife with a half-inch

round tip, and space each dot 1/4 inch apart.

Step 3. Repeat step two with Alizarin Crimson. During

application, each red dot should overlap a blue dot

from the first layer by about 1/3.

Step 4. Repeat step two again, but with Cad. Yellow this time.

Add Burnt Umber to change value. Apply each dot so that

it covers 1/3 of the red dot in the second layer and 1/3

of the blue dot from the first layer.

As you can see, I have produced a complete set of instructions for creating a painting. If you

were a traditional painter, I could call you up and by giving you these instructions you could produce

a painting in the exact same style. That's the requirement for the label of "scientific." Of course this

type of matrix has limited use. All we were doing was matching the underpainting with dots of

pigment layered on top, and artists have been matching underpaintings since oil painting was

invented. What was important is that I designed a painting with all the color decisions determined

prior to execution. The formula for this painting consisted of four variables. Each individual step

can be called a matrix. Together, they can be called the matrix for construction of the overall

painting. Think of Matricism like the silk-screen technique. Each screen consists of many variables,

like an independent painting. With a well-thought-out process of combining the different screens or

layers, the final product is a cohesive unified pictorial statement.

The next step in my search for creative expression came when I focused upon the idea of

these layers of decisions being applied in sequence. Naturally, I had to try adding a fifth set of

decisions to a couple of earlier works. The result can be seen in the following two paintings, "Night

Time Auras" and "Moonlight Reflections." They were constructed with the same matrix as the

first one, but after step four, we added a fifth

matrix layer.

Additional layer for "Night Time Auras":

Step 5. From the center of each light source

radiating out one inch apart, create rings of color

made from mixtures of white and burnt umber. As

each ring moves away from the center of each

light source, drop the value 1/4 step. Connect the

17th ring from the top light to the 12th ring of the

bottom light. All rings after that should be started

at Value 7. Night Time Auras

Moonlight Reflections

Additional layer for “Moonlight Reflections":

Step 5. Paint a straight line down the center of the canvas, directly

through the two light sources (the moon and the reflected light off

the water). Expanding out from the center line, run parallel lines 1

inch apart till you reach the ends of the canvas. Each line should

drop 1/4 value as it moves away from the center. Start the first line

in the center with pure white and use Ult. Blue to decrease value as

you move out from the center.

It is important to note what is represented in these fifth steps. All of us have seen how lights

can give off these rainbow rings around them, especially on foggy nights. I stayed with the rings on

the first painting but for the second, I abstracted this effect into straight lines. These layers represent

very abstract patterns applied to exaggerate an idea. They also give massive substance to something

that is usually vague, if seen at all. Here lies the decisive key that unveiled Matricism. The door for

which I had been searching for my entire life was about to be opened. I had never painted invisible

substance before. In exploring this process, I created an abstract interpretation of subject matter that

had no real visual substance. It was light refracting through the atmosphere. If I could paint pure

light, why not other atmospheric conditions? Why not other things such as the wind? Think of all

the things that permeate our environment, both substance and energy. It was at this point that I

decided to use the word "Matrix" to describe the formula process of layered decisions. The word

Matrix has been applied to the design of programs for computers for some time. I related their use

of the word with the way I was developing programs or formulas to create a visual statement. To

coin the word "Matricism" as the name of this technique was only natural.

Painting the Unseen

Once my focus had turned to subject matter that possessed no real solid form, a whole new

world of ideas came flooding in. I ask you the same questions I asked myself. If you can give

substance to something like light, what other forms of unseen energy can we depict in a painting?

Light is energy! The implication of being able to give "energy," form and substance is fantastic.

Think of these following forms of energy and how they exist and work within our environment.

Light - Heat - Electricity - Wind - Gravity - Magnetism - Nuclear - Atomic

These examples represent forces we have actually seen in motion through science

experiments and during certain conditions in our environment. But there are other forms of energy

that are more abstract in thought and perception. Have you ever had your heart broken or felt the

warmth and nourishment from love? You can think of love as energy directed between two people.

This is a form of energy that can literally penetrate the heart or create great pain through the whole

body. It can also heal us, give us strength, drive us in a given direction, and much more. Here lies a

world of untapped subject matter for the matrix painter.

Another form of energy that I have had great fun in exploring is the energy of life. It is the

same energy that some say can be seen in the aura of each individual, the energy of the spirit, the

energy that is said to flow from the hands of a healer and leaves the body when we die. The only

way man has ever depicted this form of energy being projected from someone has been in comic

books where small lightning bolts are drawn shooting out from the hands of a magician or super

hero. In religious paintings, artists depicted it as a halo around holy figures. Think about these

abstract forms of energy and how a painter might use them as a major element of design:

Agitation - Love - Hate - Fear - Mental - Focus - Anger


Knowledge - Tension - Excitement - Happiness

The range of creative expression one could explore in the realm of love alone could take a lifetime.

There are no defined shapes or substance to love, so the variety of ways we can depict it can be

endless. The key is to think of it as energy that can be seen, directed, and received. Visualize how it

moves and mixes between two people, engulfing us, exciting us. All the paintings in this book show

you how I have used Matricism to create pictures where energy of different forms dominate the

conception and exist as a primary element of design.

As you begin to develop your own compositions, keep in mind that most of the time you are

harmonizing an abstract idea with representational or symbolist subject matter through the design of

the underpainting. If your subject is love, then you will need to incorporate the receptacles of that

love. How does love exist, how is it expressed, how is it received, how is it enjoyed? Painting

emotions can be a challenging task, and the key to relating a message to your viewer involves

harmonizing both your materialistic real world subjects with your imagined subject matter.

Take note that what we have done is increased the elements of design within one pictorial

statement. In effect, we have increased the variables with which we can speak to our viewer.

Harmonious Design through Matrix Analysis

I am not going to start this chapter reviewing the basic elements of design, as you know

them. Those have been covered by hundreds of books in the past. What we are concerned with are

the elements that we must incorporate in order to create a matrix painting. I am going to show you

how I use Matricism, and once you gain an understanding of the process and the basic theories, I am

sure you will find your own directions. I have discovered in my own work many opportunities to

change the direction from a given path only to find an entirely new approach to convey my subject.

This is one of the exciting aspects found in various forms of modern theory. You come to a point

where you need to make a decision and find that you have many paths you can take. Since we are

exploring uncharted waters, I have found myself half way through a project and could maintain that

course to the results that I am expecting, or I could select a different course and discover results that

I would never have expected. These results can be exciting and revealing. You know yourself that

in traditional painting you can plan a painting and the results you wish to obtain before actual

construction. But we also know that during the process of making those thousands of decisions, just

a few mistakes in judgment can doom the painting to failure. In this style of painting the

construction process is very forgiving, and often you will find that mistakes can lead to a greater

success down the road. Because of this, I predict most of you will eventually create paintings totally

unlike my own or any others you have ever seen. Much will depend upon the subject matter you

select. In my work you can see my interest in religion, philosophy, family, and abstract ideas about

emotions. As a realist, these interests had seldom influenced my primary work as a professional and

never as the single most dominant element of a design.

In order for you to practice the construction techniques of Matricism, you must learn the

various ways to paint two or more separate pieces of subject matter within the confines of one color
decision. Allow me to start with a very simple example of two separate objects coming together in

one color decision.

Example No. 1 :
U U Take a black and white photograph of a face and place a piece of clear red

cellophane over it. It looks like a red tinted photo. To reproduce it on canvas, you will need the

colors: red, white, and black. You could paint it two ways. First, paint a reproduction of the face in

black and white. Let it dry, and then mix up a red transparent glaze and cover the whole painting

with it. The second way to reproduce it is by direct painting. When you are painting the shadowed

side of the face, you will be mixing a dark red, and on the light side, you would mix less black into

your mixture to create a lighter red. Now sometimes, new ideas come from simply looking at "the

old" from a new perspective. What are we painting when we mix up all the different shades of red

needed to reproduce a red tinted photo? Think of it, not as a red face, but as two separate pieces of

subject matter, a face and a red piece of cellophane.

A color decision = Hue / Value / Intensity


For the above example:

Value - comes from the B&W photo

Hue - comes from the red cellophane

Intensity - N/A

Now let me expand on the last example. Think of a large stained glass window with a

design instead of the red cellophane paper. Here we would have two pictures and the same matrix

formula as above still applies. With the addition of the subject matter of the stained glass window to
our B&W picture, we have increased the variables by which we can communicate with our viewer.

It stands to reason that the more elements of design an artist has at his disposal, the more complex,

complete, and clear one can be at communicating with his or her viewer. To be effective in

communicating with this technique, naturally the two pictures must be harmonious in design and

statement. This means that our transparent design should be viewed as an element of design within

the primary design laid down in an underpainting. The underpainting is the foundation of the entire

painting process because it defines the value of the majority of color decisions used in the painting

process and makes the primary statement.

In Matricism, the process of covering the canvas with paint mixtures is accomplished best by

the use of dots or dabs of color. In my own work, I use a palette knife because it creates consistent

dots with extreme texture which makes each dot, or application of paint, very dominant. The

application tools you select can have a profound effect on every element of the painting. I

recommend experimentation with every type of application tool you can imagine. As one of my first

teachers always said, "If a stick works better than a brush, use it". In my view, it is best for the

junior practitioners to have a tool that will help them be consistent in their paint applications.

Examples of Texture

Permit me to say something about texture. If we look at the evolution of portrait painting,

we see that texture was the last important element incorporated into the technique to enhance three

dimensional form. It takes a great master to apply every brush stroke so that the texture left by the

brush fibers contours in the direction of the form. If the texture left by the brush reflected the local

light properly, the more realistic the illusion. In this writer’s opinion, this skill was performed at its

highest by the great portrait painter, John Singer Sargent. In my own work, I find that texture is a

wonderful element of design, so I highly recommend you use painting knives.

To give you an idea about the use of texture, consider this example: If we take a Black and

White picture of a cube, then place a transparent picture of a red sphere with a blue background, and

then take a perfectly clear transparent piece of cellophane and wrinkle it up and flatten it back out on

top of the other two, you will see three different patterns speaking to us at once. One statement

would come from the pattern created by the reflected light coming from the wrinkled surface of the

clear cellophane which you would reproduce through the texture left by your paint application

process. A second statement would come from the transparent picture of the red sphere on a blue

field, which you would convey through the Hue decision of the color mixtures used. Our third

statement comes from the B&W picture of a cube. It is conveyed by the Value decision of your

color mixtures.

Keeping this in mind, you are going to see that we can have two or more independent

designs, harmonized through the color analysis. This is done by designing a matrix for each design

(a formula, when executed, creates a design). Then the two designs are harmonized by creating a

matrix that uses selected components from each. Along with these two primary designs, there can

be many supporting layers, or Matrices, that are used to enhance, embellish, amplify, or draw

attention to specific elements.

Underpainting for Traditional Portrait Underpainting for Matrix painting “Five Megans”

First Matrix Layer - The Underpainting


In execution, this is not a true matrix but since it is incorporated into the whole process, I

have designated it as the first matrix layer. It's simply a monochromatic underpainting to set the

Values for all of your color decisions. In a typical matrix painting, the underpainting is usually your

primary statement. For those who have spent their lives painting from their environment, doing

portraits, flower pictures, or whatever, Matricism will allow you to refocus on your selection of

subject matter. You will view it from a new perspective, rethinking its influences and reactions.

You'll see it differently and render a fresh view on the subjects you have been studying for years.

No matter what type of painter you are, traditional or modern, to some degree all artists could adopt

the principles of Matricism and breathe a little life into their chosen form of expression. To start

a matrix painting, simply paint whatever you want, but paint it monochromatically. For myself, I

usually use Black and White. Most of the time the underpainting is entirely covered over with paint

by the time you are

Underpainting for “Pace”


finished. Its primary purpose is to be a guide for controlling the value of your color decisions in

subsequent layers and to maintain the image of your primary design. When executing your

underpainting, I recommend staying with the traditional Nine Value System and do not blend your

values together, but rather keep each plane distinct.

Second Matrix Layer


The second design to be incorporated into your painting can be handled in many different

ways. This will become clear as you study the matrix layers of the examples in this book. This layer
can be a primary element of design, making a bold statement all its own yet unified with the design

of the underpainting. If you look at the second matrix layer of "Five Megans," you will see that the

underpainting design is

supported by many matrix layers.

All of the layers were used to

make the statement about love

depicted in the form of energy

flowing around the figures. But

the primary communication

element in this painting is the

underpainting design of the girls. 2nd Matrix Layer for “Five Megans”

The second matrix almost always follows the

Value of the underpainting. I say this because some

matrix layers interact with our primary design but not

through the color analysis of matching values (See

Graph Examples). Often, a different value is used in

order to create other elements such as harmony,

interlocking shapes, color relationships, or support

for your design by masking or enhancing certain

elements. This will become clear as you gain an

understanding of the process.

Additional Matrix Layers

To date, I have compiled works that consist of up to nine matrix layers. The painting "Five

Megans" on the following page is a good example of multiple layers designed to support the

primary design of the underpainting through color analysis. In the "Return of the Individual," there

are three separate primary design elements fused primarily through interlocking shapes. Both of

these examples have many supporting layers that are designed to harmonize the primary designs and

to help complete the statement. Most statements one would want to make with this construction

technique can be made with as few as two dominant designs harmonized by a successful matrix

formula. When first working with Matricism, it is best to keep the conceptions simple. The goal is

to communicate, and a simple statement can be made with far more clarity than a difficult one. And

if a painting communicates, it is a success, and if it speaks volumes, it just might be a masterpiece.

Five Megans

Design Elements in the Use of Matricism

There are a few elements of design that are uniquely important to Matricism. We all

understand the unifying elements of color, line, form, interlocking shapes, positive and negative

space, etc., and how they were used in the traditional sense. My desire is to focus on the elements

that are especially important to Matricism.


The most important

element in most of my work is

in the use of line. The Alla

Prima painter looks at each

brush stroke as a line with a

width and length, and so shall

we. Study the examples of line

used in my paintings. Try to

give your lines character, motion, definition. One of the most important uses I have found is in the

use of line to represent "the unseen." In “The Cresent Tree,” (above) I used line to convey the

wind, how it flows and in what direction. Line can be used to direct the flow of the viewer’s eye,

taking him from one statement to another. We can use it to create ideas and statements about the

atmospheric conditions within our environment and how force or movement interacts, or it can

simply show force and movement. What does the atmosphere around us look like without any

subject matter in it? An example of line being used to show atmosphere with no solid subject matter

can be seen in this painting titled "L.A."


This painting represents an attempt to stimulate a pure emotion. My desire was to convey a

sense of fear, a feeling of unrest. Nothing could be more frightening than the sight of a bullet flying

through the air, just before the moment it is about to take a life.

The matrix design for this painting is quite simple, as you can see. It represents a good

example of the use of Line as the defining substance of "Air." The vertical lines were very effective

in representing a substance that the bullet could cut its path through. I want the viewer to sense a

ripping sensation and the displacement of the air as it moves swiftly to its unknown target. Note the

silhouette of the gun kicking back and the yellow gases fired from the barrel.

Do you remember the first time you entered a place that made the hair stand up on your

neck? You could feel the tension in the air. How would you paint "tension" in a given atmosphere?

Do you remember the first time you got close to someone who excited you? Think of the feeling of

electricity flowing back and forth when you get close to someone you really love. There are so

many ideas out there to explore that I see no end to it. If you have not made an independent

study of line, I suggest that you do so. Certain types of line can have a profound effect on your

viewer. Study Chinese Watercolors and note their use of line to convey mood and rhythm. These

artists were great masters of line, viewing it as the primary element of design. Keep in mind that line

can control the rhythm and vibration of your painting, and it can control the way a viewer reads your

painting. Line has always been the most powerful element of design when used effectively.

Agitation - to - Relaxation
In the painting "Quest for Innovation,"

(left) I used line to show the flow of knowledge.

This painting represents what every artist wants to

do, to give the world a new work of art and to make

his contribution to the forward motion of each

generation. So "Quest" was visualized as a cycle

motion. If you follow the lines of color, they flow

from the light in the hands, spreading out all over

the canvas and flowing into the empty vents. Line

gave motion, direction, and substance to the abstract

term of "Knowledge." The slow wavy motion of the lines conveys the speed and direction of its

movement and the Blue and Red-Purple hues help relax the pace. This is in contrast to the Yellow-

Orange burst pattern that conveys the feeling of speed or the sensation of a flash. The interplay of

contrasting color and line intensifies the two extremely different flow rates of Knowledge. Line also

functioned as a tool for abstraction and an important unifying factor in the overall design. Line and

the way we use it is the essence of Matricism.


An area worthy of discussion within this technique is what I refer to as the use of

"strings." Matricism's use of dots, or points in space represents its foundation, the basic building

block of conception and construction. A "string" is simply a series of dots or points in space that

are in sequence. With an individual point or dot, that's all you have. But with a string of dots,

something more complex is created or expressed. Every artist is fully aware of the expressive
power of line, and a string of points in space is exactly that, a Line. In traditional thinking, a line

has no volume, just length. It is a division point between two planes, a separating factor. As

artists, we are taught the use of line as an element of design, using it to create harmony and

cohesive construction. Modernists have used line to create a feeling or vibration within the

viewer such as Mondrian. As a practitioner of Matricism, we give line substance, making it a

form of representative subject matter. It can also be used to direct you through an idea or

statement or as a unifying element in harmonizing multiple designs or statements into one

unified statement. A string of molecules that make up fibers creates a rope; a string of events

creates a change or development; a string of equations creates an answer or conclusion; a string

of experiences creates a perception or personality; and a string of DNA molecules creates a

living substance. When working with Matricism, the idea of a string can open many avenues of

expression and creativity and can represent untold numbers of ideas and interpretations. In my

own work you will see strings of dots representing such things as odors in the air, knowledge

moving in a given direction, the flow of light, the movement of wind, the direction of mental and

spiritual energy. It can convey direction of movement of tangible substances we are all aware of

in our daily environment or more intangible perceptions such as esoteric ideas of spiritual

essence. Everything in the universe is made up of atoms--super small specs or dots of substance.

Think about physics, molecular structures, the science of the physical make-up of ourselves and

the universe. Think about how the combination of atoms, these small independent pieces of

matter, can come together with others, different or alike, and create substance that we can feel,

taste, see, or smell. The idea is to change and open up your perspective of the world around you.

The painter of the past would have looked at metal as a solid hard substance that reflects light. I

look at it as a substance made up of atoms with space between them. If you could make yourself
small enough, you could walk through an environment that was on another scale, viewed as solid

metal. In thinking of the human body, one might think of it as a collection of individual cells,

each with a precise location somewhere on or within the living body. In doing so, one can select

given points or "cells" to be painted individually for a desired expression. Once you perceive

your subject matter in this fashion, you can create formulas, scientific or abstract, to help you

gain a desired effect. Strings of dots are the basic building blocks of a Matrix Expression.

30B God’s Greatest Creation

31B Line - Molecules - Flesh


As you can see, in many of

my works I use dots of color made by

different sized palette knives. This

may, at times, cause the novice to first

identify Matricism as a form of

Pointillism, but as you can now see,

the primary theories behind the two

styles of painting are quite different. I

use knives to create a strong

controllable texture, which can give a

consistent and well-defined dot or mark. Texture can be used as a powerful eye-catcher when the
goal is to control the viewer’s eye or draw attention to a given element of design. Since my focus

has been on different types of energy, the added element of strong texture reflects the environmental

light around the painting, and this adds to the visual effect of energy. When contrasted with smooth

surfaces or contrasting textures, the effects can be striking. And finally, you can use texture patterns

created separately from the color designs to make an additional statement to incorporate into the

overall picture. Once you gain some skill working with this technique, you will find that one of the

ultimate challenges will be to incorporate a texture design as an independent matrix.

Micro Designs or Patterns


There are examples of what I like to

describe as "Micro Designs" used in many of my

paintings. The simplest example can be seen in

the painting called "The Visitor" (right). I call

it "a dot in a dot in a dot." That is a formula!

You can keep it simple or make it hard; it’s up to

you. Other micro designs can be geometric

designs or more like personal doodling that we

have all done at times when we are daydreaming.

In many of your paintings, you will have space

between your major lines and patterns. When it

is time to apply fill-in designs, each repetitive decision is added as an independent matrix. Keep in

mind that you can use negative or fill-in space to increase the focus on a given element, to create

color harmonies, or to decorate. You can let your imagination have fun in this area and discover the

impact of color. I suggest that you play with the color wheel and don't be afraid to try anything.

One thing that modern thought has taught us is that there are no rules. In Matricism, we create our

own rules that we choose to work within. And since we create them, we work within our own level.

You’re not ready to worry about neutrality decisions if you’re struggling with hue and value

analysis. With practice, your complexity will increase if this is what is desired, but remember that

simplicity is the key. Many of the great modern painters of the century went to great lengths to

reject their training and conditioning. All that I personally recommend is that you paint with fine

materials and keep the statement of the painting center stage. You can communicate with your

viewer best when you keep it simple and clean. The painting below is an example of many micro

designs, each representing one of the five senses. Though I do not consider it a successful piece, I

have included it here to show an example of micro design saturation.

33B Micro design layout Finished hand

2B Sucking Up the Senses


We've already discussed the way we break down a color decision into Hue, Value, and

Intensity in order to include multiple criteria. Here I would like to say a few things about the colors

we select for the entire process.

Working with color in Matricism can be a really fun experience. In this technique, we go

back to the basics and play with color theory, or at times, just throw the book away. You can work

with color like the Impressionists or paint in a mud bath if you want. Selection of color can be

subjective for desired effect or you create a matrix to select the colors for you. I have used patterns,

numerical equations, and subjective selections for desired effects when selecting colors. I personally

enjoy working with sound color theories for most projects. You cannot change the physics of color,

and with proper use, you can increase the communicative power of your work. Keep in mind the

color can influence the mood and vibration of the painting. It can also have a powerful symbolic

effect. Think of how color relates to fire, air, water, and earth. It can have a very powerful

emotional impact on our viewer. It does so because color can create the feeling of movement and

vibration. Yellow has the tendency to move towards the viewer, and Blue moves in on itself. Red is

the stable one, moving inwardly with its great intensity. Green is considered the most peaceful

color, and the most boring. It is also important to understand the relationship between color and line.

Warm colors focus sharply by the human eye, and cool colors can seem blurred. One can convey

the feeling of solidity, another an incandescent quality, and others a more transparent, vague effect.

In my own work I keep color selection simple and work from as few tubes of paint as

possible. To control the intensity of my colors, I use Neutral Grays instead of using complimentary

colors. Using neutral grays to control intensity can be applied to a scientific process easier, and

besides, complimentary colors are notorious for shifting the color. You will also see their advantage

when we discuss Grid Analysis later on. We have also discussed the use of numerical designations,

and with the process of mixing neutral grays, we can see the scientific

method within this approach. For every color used in a painting, you

mix up Nine different values of that color. Then you mix up Nine

values of Neutral Gray to control the intensity of the nine primary


Neutral Gray = Black + White, and a touch of Yellow Ocher

for the lighter values and Raw Umber for the darker values.

By adding touches of Neutral Gray of the same value to your primary

color, you can create as many neutral levels of a primary color as you wish. Most of the time I work

in only Six degrees of neutrality, but I have been known to go as high as Fifteen.

The Color Wheel


The one thing that I feel all artists should do prior to experimenting with Matricism is to

build a color wheel with their paints. Artists are going to find that with most of their dominant

colors, they will mix up Nine values of each. If artists are using Yellow, how do they mix up a Dark

Yellow? I have included in this text the color wheel as taught by the Reilly School of Art. The

color wheel taught by the Reilly School of Art is the finest one I know of for the painter. I strongly

suggest that you create one with the following pigments. Mix all Nine values of each color before

you apply it to the wheel.

Yellow: Cadmium Yellow Light for

your lightest value. Burnt Umber + Raw

Umber for the darkest value. Use these

two colors to make your gradations.

Orange: Cadmium Orange + White for

your lightest value. Add Burnt Umber to

Cad. Orange to go down in value.

Red: Cadmium Red Light + White for

the lightest value. Burnt Umber +

Alizarin Crimson for the darkest value.

Frank Reilly Color Wheel

Red-purple: Use Alizarin Crimson and add White to bring it up in value.

Purple: Cobalt Violet + White to go up in value. Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson to lower

the value.

Purple-blue: Ultramarine Blue and add White to bring up the value.

Blue: Ultramarine Blue + Viridian and add White to bring up the value.

Blue-green: Viridian and add White to bring it up in value.

Green: Cadmium Green Deep + White for upper values. Burnt Umber + Viridian for dark values.

Green-yellow: Permanent Green Light + White for upper values. Lamp Black + Burnt Umber

to lower value.

One thing that I would like to say about matrix painting is that often you need to move

through color mixtures precisely and with speed. When you’re moving across the surface of an

underpainting, matching value, you find yourself going up and down the value scales of all the

colors and if you’re working in neutrality, you’re moving within 54 different mixtures. It reminds

me of when I practiced my scales on the piano. Up and down and up and down until that movement

alone tired you out. If you have to stop and mix up color all the time, forget it. Have your colors

ready to go when you need them. You'll increase the speed of execution and enjoy the process more.

If you have trouble keeping your paint from drying out, keep it in your freezer when not being used.

Having 54 piles of paint dry out before you use it can be expensive and frustrating.

In most of my paintings I use mostly primary colors. This usually calls for two dominant

colors and then several supporting colors. This is because we are usually mixing two complimentary

designs and our desire is to give each definition. This way we can say more to our viewer if the

designs speak separately, yet in harmony. When you are making two different statements on one
canvas, you want the viewer to look at each and conclude what you are saying. Most of the time, the

best way to do that is to select colors on opposite sides of the color wheel or use tri-compliments for

two primary designs and a fill in for negative space. I have attempted to incorporate up to Five

different subjects into one expression only once (See "Sucking up the Senses"). I believe you will

agree that it takes a great deal of study to discern what I am saying in this painting. From a distance,

the five layers fuse together into one crazy picture. You have to inspect the painting up close to

analyze each separate matrix and draw conclusions as to what I am trying to say. My success at

fusing five variables is up to others to judge, but I believe that I am hitting my saturation point with a

stacking or layered approach. Keep it simple, clean, focused and fun! Harmonizing two designs is

enough to challenge the best of us since your desire is to make an impact on the viewer. Clarity of

the statement is your primary concern.

17B The Passing

In “The Passing” I have incorporated four primary designs, not micro designs, into a single

statement about death and the soul. Again, I have reached saturation with multiple designs.

The Discovery of Matricism

Before we go into the construction examples, I wanted to share with you the experience of

opening the door to Matricism. We have already discussed the first form of construction with

monochromatic results. The next step is to bring multiple colors into the work, yet stay with the idea

that the construction process should be as scientific as possible. The problem that you will

encounter with every matrix painting is keeping the amount of subjectivity to a minimum. It is

impossible to remove all subjectivity from your creative process, and if we did, it would no longer

be "art.” But you should strive to keep it as scientific as possible. This can be accomplished best if

you keep in mind the requirement of being able to put the construction process into a written

language. For centuries, artists have tried to make the art of painting a scientific process. What kept

most of them from obtaining their goal was the restraint of acceptable art, or their objective was not

totally conducive to a complete scientific method. In other words, they were foiled by limited

perception of subject matter. Today, we are no longer limited by acceptable subject matter or how

we paint the subjects we select. In today's world, breaking traditional norms is considered a goal, if

not the primary requirement for success and recognition.

In developing the techniques expressed in this book, I would like to take you back to the

moment Matricism crystallized. As a Commission Artist, I had always made my living painting

what other people commissioned. We all know how difficult and frustrating painting for others can

be. Portraitists have to live with the fact that every mother's goose is a swan! In my own case, I

have taken every known type of commission. The worst type of commissions came in the form of

historical paintings. Only the requirement of keeping the lights burning in the studio could force me

to paint out of my time. A few years before I started down my current path, I had started a historical

painting of Downtown Dallas, Texas. I was working from an old black & white photo taken in
1911. Although I use the Alla Prima method in my portrait work, I use the older method of building

up the painting from a monochromatic underpainting when I practice the art of illustration. I had

finished the underpainting for this piece but never had finished it in color. Seeing it sit around the

studio day after day, it kept puzzling me as to how I could use it as an experiment and see how I

could work out this crazy idea that was bouncing around in my head. Finally, I picked up the

painting and just started putting little dots on the canvas. I started by making a line of dots, but I had

no plan or vision of the results; I was just doodling. I worked on the piece off and on between other

works until I was about half way through when the most important moment in my life as an artist

showed itself. Here were all of these lines wiggling across the canvas for no reason. Red, Yellow,

and Blue wiggly lines were moving horizontally across the canvas. Why not give them a reason to


The implications were exciting. I could organize the lines to show the movement of wind,

the flow of light, and the focus of attention to something, etc., etc.... I could give substance to the

invisible, real or imagined. Not only had I stumbled across a new way to increase the criteria
involved in color analysis but also I had found a way to depict subject matter that had been mostly

ignored by artists of the past. Can you think of anything more exciting than painting something no

one has ever seen before? The paintings in this book record from day one my explorations in

Matricism. With so many new ideas to try, I have attempted to explore as many different avenues as

possible. By doing so, I am showing the range of styles that could come from Matricism. I have

proved to myself and to others that this is a design tool and not a personal style. If you think of

Matricism as a language, by selecting certain words and arranging them in a desired sequence, you

can speak.

I believe that there are thousands of different ways to mix up all the variables of this

technique. For those who understand the basics of the modern computer, Matricism could be

compared to DOS, a computer language. Once you understand what DOS is and how it works, you

can write programs that are designed to do a given job and give you a required result. One program

allows you to write words on the screen and another program can allow you to work out math

problems. Each matrix painting in this book is the result of a written program using the variables of


If I've been successful in communicating an understanding of Matricism, you can understand

how my mind was on overload. Ideas were flowing right and left, and the adrenaline was pumping

for weeks. My father put a pencil in my hand when I was three, and I spent the last thirty-five years

studying art and learning how to paint. And now at last, I had something to do that was fun,

different, and a contribution to my profession. It was nothing less than a religious experience for

me. Not a day goes by that I do not ponder the question, “Was this simple idea just a chemical

reaction in the brain, or was it an accumulation of knowledge and experiences? Was it

predestination, or did I just take the right turns in life?”

The following sections in this book will show you the adventure I have been living over the

last six years of experimentation. Many of the following forms of matrix analysis have the potential

of years of exploration. If you look at many of the current painters, you see that their work usually

carries a dominant theme or primary style throughout their entire career. With my discovery of

Matricism, this is impossible. Instead of a personal style that would lock me in, I am able to explore

in many different directions. At times, it is difficult to judge if it is the same artist doing all these

paintings unless you have an understanding of Matricism.

Matrix Style No. One


The son of an architect, I grew up with art books all over

the house. To top it off, my father's special love was building

churches. This may be why I have always been in love with

religious themes and was always disappointed that opportunities

to tackle such themes are almost nonexistent in today's art

market. For me, the evolution of the world's great religions has

been a point of study for most of my life. Although I would

have never predicted it, it was natural that my work as a painter

would finally merge with my interest in religion and the purpose

of life.

Composition Number One, "Five Megans"


"Five Megans" was one of the first matrix paintings to be conceived. Remember that we

now have a way to paint "the unseen," and my desire was to give substance to the presence of God

and the energy and love with which he surrounds us. I wanted to say something about the child

within us and how, through that child, we come to know and love Him. The title of this work comes

from my daughter, Megan. I had her dance around a suspended light and took numerous photos of

her in many positions. From five of these photos, I created the underpainting. As every father

knows, little girls can be the embodiment of total love. I portrayed God as a ball of energy, hovering

just out of reach of the girls. The primary goal of the nine matrix layers was to bring life into the

light and energy into the surrounding environment. I tried to give this abstract word "love" a given

visual substance via the sparkle of energy in the environment. To complete the sensation of energy,

I focused on creating the impression of atmospheric movement through pattern design. One of the

disappointing things that cannot be shared in a book is the expressive power of texture. It is a very

important design factor in this painting and was highly effective in expressing the presence of


“The Five Megans” uses the typical underpainting executed in

Black and White, and it carries the majority of our message to the

viewer. I note this because you will see other works where the

underpainting plays 50% or less

of a role in the expression of

something. Although I have not

tried it, I can conceive of paintings

where there is no underpainting.

In my own work, I like to

communicate with my viewer, and

to do this, I try to harmonize many individual statements into a larger message, or even into an entire

story. I am seldom nonobjective!

The first matrix layer consists of the spiral design as shown in the text. This layer will

usually be the dominant color of the overall painting and usually represents your secondary element

of design. In this piece, it also

sets up the primary motion of

energy. Note how I continually

added lines as the spiral pattern

expands. This pattern is

executed free hand, and I suggest

that you do as much of your

painting as you can this way. It

is very easy to get hooked on using tools to create your designs, and I do use them often, but try to

stay away from them whenever possible. Take chances on your natural abilities so you will not get

locked in by self cultivated limitations.

There are times when a tool does have certain

advantages. The second matrix layer consists of exact

circles 1/2 in. wide and 1/2 in. apart. To get exact

circles I built a huge compass. I wanted this layer to

radiate out very subtly, adding to the feel of energy

vibrating out from one source.

By using a compass, the effect

of the design is more subtle, thus allowing the first spiral pattern to dominate

because of its imperfections and slightly larger sized dot. Your free-hand

patterns will usually dominate those created by tools. I also decided to shift the color just a little

more to the blue side of the color spectrum. With a slightly cooler color, this layer receded into the

picture plan and allowed the spiral pattern to jump forward. Remember what we said about the

properties of color?

The third matrix layer involved filling in that 1/2 in. space between the blue circles of the

second matrix. Since the first two layers came from the blue/blue green side of the color wheel, I

shifted now to the red side for a complimentary color. I wanted to set up a mild vibration, so I used

a neutralized Red.

In the first four photos, you see the underpainting and the three primary matrix designs. If

you look at the pictorial analysis of the full matrix design of "Five Megans," you will see that there

is a total of Nine layers. After the first three layers had been applied, the entire canvas was covered

with paint, so I started to work with independent dots applied in patterns that would increase the

sparkle and illusion of energy particles in the air. The last five layers consisted of simple formulas

used to create this effect.

One last motion effect was created with the last layer. I wanted to have a pulsating effect, so

I set up a frequency wave expanding from the center. This was done by stepping down the value of

a color in cycles as it was painted from the light and out across the canvas: 123, 123, 123, etc. In

this painting, it would call for a red dot at the value of 3; one inch out use value 4; and then the next

inch I went to value 5. Then you start back at value 3 one inch out again, and so on. This gave the

light a pulsating effect.

The Visitor

Composition No. Two, "The Visitor"

This painting was designed along the same lines as Five Megans. I wanted to make the

statement that God can interact with the child in each of us. By using little boys and bringing the

light of God down among them, I am showing that He is very close and that we all react differently

towards Him. We all know how little boys confront mysteries; some are shy; others are not; some

want to get closer; and others want to touch.

Matrix Style No. Two

Composition No. One, "Sucking up the



This painting represents my first attempt to

fuse five different subjects into one work: Sight,

Sound, Touch, Smell, and Taste. I didn't start with

the idea of making the picture humorous, but in

the end it turned out so. In trying to make a statement concerning taste, I had to stick the tongue out;

for sight I bugged out the eyes; and for the sense of smell, I flared the nostrils. Humor was


The underpainting shown on the following page has the pencil lines already drawn to guide

me through all five layers. From each upper corner, there are lines drawn at uneven distances apart

with a compass centered in each corner. These represent sound coming in like stereo to the listener's

ears. The second pattern consists of two spiral designs, one for each eye to convey the idea of sight.

The third design consisted of many little wavy lines flowing horizontally across the surface. They

represent odors floating through the air and being drawn into the nose. There were two other

designs added, interlocking circles about three inches in diameter, drawn over the entire canvas to

represent particles we can taste and straight lines drawn vertically like solid bars that can be touched.

When you are laying in the patterns to be used in your own work, I suggest that you use

different colored pencils, in order to keep the distinction of each pattern. Once you start applying

paint, it becomes very difficult to keep track of the lines you are following for each color. I have
found myself on the wrong line pattern many times. The last matrix layer consisted of the fill-in

color used within the negative space of the hands and face. I would also like you to note in the

completed work the sensory pathways taken by each sensation to the brain. You can see that the

sense of touch has a pathway from the finger tips to the center of the mind. You can also see the

sensory paths for sight, sound, smell, and taste, all coming together in the center of the head, where I

represent the location of our mind.

In my selection of colors for each sense, I used yellow for

the vertical lines that stimulate the sense of touch. Yellow, being a

very hot color, advances to the front of the picture plane in order to

be in front of the figure and to denote what the fingers are

touching. The spiral designs, one centering from each eye, are

painted in Red, another hot color which advances in front of the

figure to where he is looking. The small wavy lines representing

odors for the sense of smell are painted in a very cool blue. This allows them to sink into the picture

plane and appear to be floating around our figure deeper within the picture plane. This blue is light

like the air we breath. The circles represent air-born particles for taste. I selected a Neutralized

Yellow so that it would blend in softly and appear only upon close inspection. You can also see that

I decided to leave the smooth canvas between the five patterns. The contrast between the smooth

paint and the heavy texture of the dot work gave more distinction between the patterns and helped

make the statement that the five different subjects are separate within the same environment. Once

all of the five patterns are completed, we then execute the design representing the sensory pathways.

The color for each sense is followed all the way till they meet in the center of the head.

Once all the five senses had been created, I added the final matrix. I selected to fill in the

negative space of the hands and face with pure Alizarin Crimson, keeping my color selections

simple as you have seen.

Matrix Style No. Three


The idea behind this form of matrix analysis has to do with light. As traditional painters, we

have been painting light reflecting off of surfaces. The Impressionists rendered form with the idea

that they were not painting objects, but light hitting the retina of the eye. So think of light as a

substance. I started this approach with the idea that I would break the light up into its color bands

and paint them like laser beams coming from an unseen source. Again, the intensity of the color is

matched with the depth of the picture plane, hot colors in the front and cool colors in the receding

planes. The temperature and position of the colors give us most of our depth perception in this style.

I decided to show you a progression of color studies so you can see how I developed this style of

Matricism. In every newly theorized matrix, I start with the most simple analysis first to study the

viability of it. I started my approach by giving "light" some unique properties. Think of it as liquid

light, affected by gravity and surface


Composition No. One,

"Four Geometrics"

Again, I started with a typical

underpainting. The underpainting was a

painting demo I had done years earlier for one of my classes. I had a tendency to want to

"Matricize" everything in sight at that time, so any old painting in the studio was fair game. The first

step is always to map out your first matrix design with a pencil. In this approach, I marked off the

top of the painting every 1/4 inch. Then I drew lines straight down the canvas, selecting the picture

plane depth for each one. As each line came down at a given depth position, if it encountered one of

the four forms, it reacted as though it was a fluid following the contour of the shape. Once all the

lines were in, I studied the areas where the line had been moved by the forms and blacked out the

negative space. This is an example of creating Negative space with a matrix design. If you attempt

to try this matrix, study your form well. You can see in this example that this form of matrix

analysis was not yet perfected. I would have liked to have seen some pie-shaped pieces on the top of

the cylinder, and the cube could have been better also.

One other thing that I was experimenting with in these two works was the color analysis. In

"The Four Geometrics," I used only Red and neutralized it in six different degrees. There are only

three tubes of paint in the entire execution: Black, White, and Alizarin Crimson.

Composition No. Two, "I Exist"

In this painting, again I am thinking of light as a creative energy that gives substance. I

started with the idea of breaking light down into its color bands and executing them as controlled

beams of light. The intensity of the color is matched with the depth of the picture plane, hot colors

in the front and cool colors in the receding planes. The temperature and position of a color can

greatly enhance depth perception. The earlier examples show how a progression of color studies

helped develop this style of Matricism.

My desire was to make a statement about existence. Here are some of the key phrases:

We only exist in the light.

We exist only because of the


We exist in God's light.

We are alive because of the

energy of light.

I Exist

"I Exist" represents a very successful execution of this matrix style. Look closely at the

area where you can see the top of the back leg through the interior of the front leg. My goal was to

show the viewer all sides of the figure at once. This calls for thinking like a sculptor and analyzing

your subject from all sides. I have a great deal of experimentation ahead of me in perfecting a

balance between the lines that react to the front of the form, those depicting the back side of the

body, and keeping them all balanced with the negative space.

Composition No. Four,


37B "You Are"

The painting "You Are"

represents the making of man. I

chose to have my model looking

up to acknowledge from where he

comes. There is one added effect

to this painting that represents an

experiment. I decided to enlarge

the Yellow dots to approximately

two inches. Adding a size

relationship with the color of a

given line helped amplify the

illusion of line depth.

Matrix Style No. Four

Composition No. One, "Quest for Innovation"


The painting in this section

is very personal to me and

represents my own quest. It’s all

about the process that we go

through in life, the cycle that

moves from one generation to the

next. Study the photo of the

underpainting with the flow lines

marked. At this stage I have just

started the first layer of Red. You

can clearly see the tangle of vents

or rectangular tubes, which

represent the pathways to

knowledge. Think of all the ways

we learn: schools, teachers, parents, books, and just movement through society. I decided to paint

vents or air ducts to express the difficulty in moving through our chosen path. The light that you see

coming from inside the vents represents "Knowledge," which we all seek in some form or another.

In the large vent, you can see the face of a man emerging with a ball of light in his hand. That light

represents his innovation, built out of the knowledge that he has gained through the struggle of his

quest. It could be an invention: a story, a painting, or whatever one might create out of what one

has learned. Going into the vents represents the difficulty in gaining knowledge, and the long trip
back out represents the difficulty in taking that knowledge and creating something new and

introducing it to the world. The cycle is complete when an innovation is introduced and added to all

that is already known. This is represented by the flow-line design moving from the bright light in

the hands out across the canvas and flowing back into the empty vents. The cycle begins again

when the next person enters the vent that will lead him to his fulfillment.

Detail from “Quest”

3B Quest for Innovation

As a rule, most of your primary elements of design go into the first two or three matrix

layers, but in this painting you can see the large burst of orange was added last, and it plays a very
significant role in the overall statement. I was thinking about the explosion of ideas for paintings

that I was experiencing, so I depicted this like a large firework on the Fourth of July. I wanted to say

in this painting that even a simple idea can have profound, explosive effects on society or the


This is an appropriate time to make a comment about subject matter. My generation and

those coming after have experienced more sensations and seen more things than any other in history.

So much didn't even exist just a few years ago. Here I was painting about our personal quests, the

struggle of moving towards our goals through the quest for knowledge, and of all things, I'm

thinking of the vision of Bruce Willis crawling through the heating vents in the movie Die Hard. I

used to think that a fun painting was a beautiful nude model.

Neutrality was used in a unique way in the painting “Quest for Innovation.” In the mind's

eye, I positioned the different vents at different depths into the picture plane. As "knowledge"

explodes from the hands of the innovator, it expands over the entire canvas and moves down to the

level of the other vents, where it is sucked

back down to be added to the knowledge

glowing inside the other pathways. The

Red, seen coming off the light in the

hands, drops in neutrality the farther it gets

from the light. The Visualized Neutrality

Scale, shown here, depicts six levels of neutrality relating to the perceived depth of the knowledge as

it recedes into the picture plane and moves into the vents. In the mind's eye this is a birds-eye view

of our subject matter. Holding a three-dimensional image of the subject matter from different angles

other than the one seen by the viewer is an important capacity for the artist when working with


Matrix Style No. Five


The style of Matricism covered in this section is the most difficult one to date. Many of the

artists I have studied start their paintings by first premixing most of the colors that they were

planning to use. Premixing is a must in this style because you are going to need so many so often.

Working with Matricism in this fashion is very difficult to explain. Let’s start by thinking about the

simple act of doodling on a piece of paper. This is an exercise in two-dimensional scribbling. Now

think of a visual image of three-dimensional scribbling within a cube of space. To create the illusion

of 3-D with a given color, the artist needs extreme control and accuracy in selecting the proper

degree of neutrality as it moves in and out of the picture plane.

Red Neutrality Scale


Let us say that you are making a Red line, moving from the front to the back of your cube of

space. As the red recedes into the picture plane, your red should slowly become more neutralized.

As it comes forward again, the color becomes less neutralized. To do this exercise with one color,

you will need to premix at least five neutralized mixtures along with the primary color with which

you started. By doing so, you can paint a color line moving within a given space with some degree
of speed. I mention speed because the more intricate your painting becomes, you could find the

need to mix as many as one-hundred and fifty piles of paint for just three colors used. By having all

your colors ready, you can see instantly the one you need at any given moment. You can judge the

degree of neutrality by seeing

the other mixtures nearby, and

you have a numerical grid

layout on your palette which

can keep you organized and

allow you to follow numerical

designations with some speed.

Reducing your mixing and

execution time and keeping

your working process organized

is very important. Working with dots can be a time consuming, laborious approach to painting, and

anything you can do to speed up the process is of great help. That wonderful feeling that you get

when you execute that perfect brushstroke does not exist in this technique. The thrill comes in the

conception, the experimentation, and a successful conclusion. But the time spent applying paint to

the canvas can be an exercise in patience and discipline.

Now let us return to our 3-D example. If we add value changes to our line moving within

our depicted cube of space, we now have to increase our mixtures from our original six piles of paint

to a total of fifty-four piles. This represents only one color or Hue (red) mixed into nine values, and

then six degrees of neutralization. (6 x 9 = 54 mixtures for each color we decide to use). You may
elect to use only 7 values, which I often do because 1 = White and 9 = Black. These two extreme

values are often not needed.

I want to add a few words about Grid Analysis. In some works with very advanced matrix

designs, by keeping a grid layout in your mind's eye, you can calculate the neutrality designation of a

given note of color. You can use longitude, latitude, and depth designation numbers in creating your

matrix analysis. To satisfy one of my

earliest desires, Grid Designations made

useful denominators in equations,

irrational formulas, or other ways of

creating a scientific style of painting.

(See Grid Diagram next page). In this

diagram, you can see a simple grid like

one I would visualize when working with

a product that requires the need.

Remember that we use it as a color analysis tool, a collection of denominators or formula

designations, or simply a general locator when we are working in certain forms of Matricism. When

you place a grid in the mind's eye, don't be stiff in you perception; allow your grid to be elastic and

feel free to make general estimates, even if you are following a numerical sequence. Remember, this

is art; we are constructing formulas to help us with the creative process. Some are scientific and

mathematical; others can be mixed with abstract ideas and terminology. I guarantee that some, if not

many of your formulas will be so strange that you may be the only one who understands them. I

have created many formulas that I simply could not put into words but were very organized and

Composition No. One, "Rising to Maturity"

This painting is the first in

which I used this form of matrix. The

difficulties that I encountered centered

around the fantastic amount of color

mixing. Every red line in the painting

radiates out from the center figure

while weaving up and down and in and

out of the picture plane. Plus, they are

constantly changing value as I move

them across the canvas.

"Rising to Maturity" is about

our development as an individual. My

desire in explaining my work and what

it means to me is to enable you to understand how my mind has opened up to new ideas about

subject matter and for you to judge my success at communication. As a rule, I prefer to have the

message interpreted by the viewer, but as a teacher, it is my job to stimulate thoughts and ideas. As

a painter and artist, it is to give you something to think about. In my view, to touch your viewer and

cause him to interact with your work is the ultimate challenge. For myself, this painting represents

the discovery of who I am and why I am here. The painting came to me the exact moment that

Matricism crystallized, and I finally knew my purpose as an artist and as a person. All the years of


teachers, looking at paintings, reading every book I thought might give me something--and the

years and years of practice are represented in this painting. All of it was aimed at a goal that took

years to realize, that is, the development of Matricism. This painting represented the achievement of

becoming an artist.

Rising to Maturity

Another quality that Matricism displays in this painting is that of a tool for abstraction. Here

the design of the matrix gave us a form of abstraction that would give solidity and prominence to the

front figure and consecutively distort each figure according to its size, position, and dominance. As

you can see, the figure in the far back is the smallest and the least defined. Here, size and clarity

relates to personal growth and development. As each figure comes closer, it is better defined. When

we finally come to the primary figure, we have developed into who or what we are, and the solidity

of the figure states it.

Another reason behind all the lines radiating from the center figure has to do with the idea of

finally being "in tune" or "connected" with our world. Once we develop our mature into who we

are, we become one with the world, and we know how and in what way we fit into it. The raised

arms signify the giving of thanks and the exuberance of having finally "arrived."

Now let us return to the matrix analysis. Once the energy lines were laid in, my attention

turned to the negative space between the wavy lines. This is the blue area seen between the red

energy lines. Here I elected to use another interesting form of matrix analysis that I call

"Graphing." If you cut a picture in half and then cut a thin strip from one of those halves, you will

have a piece of paper that will change value as you move along it. This will give you a set of

numbers with which to play in a matrix formula. In this painting, I used the position to establish the

Intensity (brightness or dullness) of a single Hue, Cerulean Blue. I mixed six piles of this blue hue

all at value four, but with different degrees of neutrality. I then used the changing values of the

underpainting to tell me the neutralized mixture to utilize. Note that I have created a numerical

formula to tell me what color to use. Scientific Painting! (Note earlier graph example) This type of

matrix analysis can be changed, twisted, and calculated in many different ways. It could also be

designed where one value equals a different value or a value dictates a given hue. Note the example
of "reverse reading" for a color analysis and one where we use a "step up" matrix. For a step up

value, when you read a value of Six on the underpainting, you would apply a value of Seven, and if

you used a down-step formula, you would go to your Fifth value. What you are doing is simply

creating numerical relationships to accomplish a desired result. In the Reverse Graph, you simply

reverse all decisions numerically. The value of Five is the only value you cannot reverse because

it’s in the middle of your value scale.

Composition No. Two, "The Passing"


This painting represents my first effort at fusing three

primary designs. The theme for this painting comes from the

"out of body" research that has been done on patients who

were clinically dead and then revived. It represents death,

rising out of the body, viewing the body from above, and then

turning towards the wonderful bright light of God and

moving toward it. The motion of the spirit or soul is depicted

in stages with the figures painted in Dark Red to a Bright

Orange as you move from one figure to the next. Dark relates

to the idea of being heavy and having solidity while in solid form. The brighter orange color relates

to being very light when one is in a pure energy form, that being the soul. Note that we are thinking

of the psychology of our color decisions. The figure design consists of the underpainting and one

color matrix. The S-curve design is to convey a smooth flowing motion, as a spirit's motion should

be and the path being taken.

The second major design incorporated into the whole was the ancient Sanskrit symbol for

"Oouummm." The sound that the Buddhist Monks make when they chant in a low, deeply drawn

out sound. Note that this is the first time I added something like a letter or symbol to be incorporated

into an over all design. Though it would take someone familiar with this symbol to understand its

meaning within the overall statement of the painting, no one ever said you had to make a painting

easy to read.. The third major element of design is that of the energy patterns painted in Metallic

Gold and Silver. I wanted the look of the Far East, somewhat like the oriental wedding dresses with

the gold and silver threads mixed with rich, powerful colors. The metallic colors were perfect in

creating this desired cultural flavor and in the matrix design for energy. The energy patterns radiate

from the bright light. Since Eastern religions believe that God is in every living thing, his life and

energy are everywhere. Note all of the "Micro" matrix designs.

If you haven't noticed, the spirit figure in “The Passing” is a derivative of the one designed

for "Rise to Maturity." In that painting I used a heavy figure to convey the idea of being grounded

to the real world. My desire was to mix ancient monolithic symbolism with a 21st century

technique. In this painting, I wanted a flowing figure, simple in design to represent the soul. Note

the darker figure sitting over the lighter death figure has the impression of folded legs. This denoted

the status of being alive and gives the impression of solidity in a material world. The lightness of the

other figures adds to the feeling that we are watching a momentary happening, something in


Composition No. Three, "The Return of the Species"

26B In "The Return of the Species," we have the same basic theme as the "The Passing," and

“Rise to Maturity,” except that this represents the cycle of the whole human race. As I was

creating the "Individual," I was thinking how many people are coming and going on this planet
every second of the day, day-in and day-out. Millions of souls are rotating in and out, representing

this great cycle motion. I used the heavy solid figures to represent man on earth. You can see the

idea of death and dying represented in the fallen figures. Behind them you can see lighter figures

rising with a few of them in the stage of just breaking away from the material world. As they rise,

you can see them blur into the spiraling flow of thousands of souls moving toward the light. The

special message in the five rising souls is in their body language. In much of the death research,

those who have experienced it say that they no longer fear the death experience. They felt great love

and relief, so I wanted to convey that idea in this painting.

The Return of the Species

Matrix Style No. Six

“Spirit Guide”

For nineteen years, I have

been married to a wonderful woman

who is a member of the Peoria

Indian Tribe. In this design I wanted

to incorporate the simplicity of

Indian Art and Symbolism. In

"Spirit Guide," the message is the

interplay with the Great Spirit, so I

moved the light of the spirit in a fast

sliding motion. There are two

designs representing the spirit of

man, the abstract design laid in with

the gray tones and within that design

a white misty figure of a man. I

selected Yellow as the primary color for its lightness in mood and the feeling of a momentary flash

of time. Yellow symbolizes the Sun.

As in the painting "One Soul’s Path," this painting consists of many subjective decisions.

You should always keep this in mind when doing your own work, for there will be times when you

find that a formula is not working as you had conceived. Many times I have found myself more than

3/4 the

Detail frm “Spirit Guide”

way through the execution of a matrix layer and found that I had miscalculated slightly. When this

happens, remember that there is no rule written in stone, so don't be afraid to change it in order to

make it work, or just make a subjective decision that makes you happy.

Matrix Style No. Eight

Composition, "Pair Bond"

I had to try my hand at creating something along the lines of Rayonism or Neo-

Plasticism. Much of our concern here is in the balance of relationships within the composition.

Mondrian made the statement, "Whatever its method of expression, each art tends to become,

through the cultivation of the human mind, an exact representation of balanced relationships.

For the balanced relationship is, in fact, the purest representation of that universality, that

harmony, and that unity which are the essential qualities of the mind." The soul is the mind, and

in spirit it is balanced. Some people believe that God created us in pairs and that for all of time

we have a soul mate somewhere in the universe.

Pair Bond

This work contains more simple matrix decisions than any other. You can see

this in the different types of lines such as the one with the white dots running on top of the red.

Matrix Style No. Nine

Composition, "The Crescent Tree"

As a young artist studying the techniques of the masters, I had great contempt for the idea of

"art for art's sake." I felt that a painting should have meaning and communicate with the viewer.

Many people have great difficulty understanding why so much of the work produced by the great

modern masters qualifies as "important." This is the mistake of the simple view, for it takes a great

deal of knowledge to really appreciate and understand quality modernism.

The Crescent Tree

In this painting, I am doing two things to the viewer. First I am making a statement about

the wind, how it bends the tree and how the tree affects the wind. My second desire is to simply

entertain the eye of the viewer. If you note the Red, White, and Black lines moving through the

painting, you can see that they each move with a different rhythm. One swiftly moves across the

canvas till it hits the tree and spirals down. The White line flows through the painting till it gets

caught in the movement of the wind, and the Black line at the bottom of the tree comes bouncing

into the picture, repeating that rhythm right on across the canvas. What I am doing is controlling the

eye of the viewer and forcing him to move in a desired way. I say nothing, but I force a reaction and

make him experience a rhythm.

Matrix Style No. Eleven

Composition, "Grounded and Focused"

Here is a painting that makes a statement about mental concentration and the drawing of

energy from the world around us. In Eastern philosophy, the idea of being grounded to the earth is

very important, for it is mother earth from which we draw so much of the energy of life that sustains

us. In Eastern thought, the view of mental energy--referred to as their "Chi"--is also a power that

can be disciplined through intense concentration. It is said that the great masters can tap into both

forces and control them for their needs. This is the message of the painting.

In my color analysis, I

decided on the use of cool

colors to display the energy

being drawn up from the earth

and hot color to show the

energy generated by the mind.

The control by man is

displayed through the mixing

of the colors as they move

down the arms, into the hands,

and concentrated to create the

explosion between the fingers.

This painting was started with

a complete figure of a man in

the underpainting. Once the

energy lines were painted

flowing up the body, each with

its individual Hue but

following the Value of the


The Construction of “My Guides”

The figures you see in “My Guides” have had an impact on my ideas about who we are.

You will see these figures in many different paintings of mine because they seem to convey my

thoughts on our psyche. I myself am not always sure what they are saying to me, but they always

tickle the mind and make us think.

In this close-up, you can see where I used colored pencils to map out the flow lines of the

individual faces.

Mapping the Lines

In these photos, I am bringing down the

first set of lines. Bringing down all lines

evenly allows me to work with my mixtures of

paint in a sequential mixing process. Each

figure is given a different hue, moving from a

violet, red-violet, to red, red-orange, orange,

yellow orange, and then jumping to one green

figure in the background.

Laying in the third figure

In this shot, my impatience has gotten the best of me, and I have filled in the negative space

in the center figure to see if my overall idea was going to work. It is!

My Guides


This is my favorite painting. It says so much about the “Pace” of Twentieth Century life

and the way so many of us fly through it. As a professional portrait painter, running from

commission to commission, catering to the clients, dealing with the business concerns, etc. is a

life style on the road. For me, the mind opens to creativity most in the wee hours of the morning

when the world is asleep and all is quite in the cosmos.

My Angels

The “art” of painting, the “craft” of painting, the “act” of painting, which is it? Like

politics, put a left wing avant-garde modernist and a left wing traditionalist together, and the

question of which description goes into the process of painting will never be agreed upon. The

two sides cannot agree upon a definitive definition of what constitutes “art” or the act of being

an artist. Though I find myself on both sides of the debate, from a historical perspective, it

seems to me that the natural evolutionary path for the future is a synthesis of thought. I’ve

experimented with mixing Matricism with past forms of Modernism, but with the following

works, my goal was to charm and give

comfort and joy to the multitude of art

lovers not interested in theory or the

elements of design. Though my

friends in the intelligentsia have

rejected my angels as sweet, simple,

and unsophisticated, I have seen them

capture the hearts of viewers over and

over again. Who cares what others

think, for art is here to brighten our

lives, give us inspiration, and make us

think. If a painting of mine does that,

it is the greatest success I could

possibly have in my life as a painter.

The Messengers of the Light

A Perspective on the Future

As I have stated, Matricism is a language. You cannot put all the expressions of decision

and action into a written format, but it is an attempt to come as close to that ideal as possible. As

any language, it will grow in its vocabulary as it is explored more fully.

I want you to look at the painting, "Rising to Maturity," it is one of the earliest paintings

executed with a fully integrated matrix formula with the use of neutrality. It was executed in a very

small dot size but I soon realized that if I am going to explore this technique quickly, I needed to

work larger. The lesson learned from this painting was that my preplanning had to be precise. I

decided then that I had to increase the dot size, which allows me to experiment faster with a given

matrix before I increased the complexity of the execution. I have discovered that in developing

color studies and by keeping the complexity down, I could discover many other possibilities at a

faster rate, and my communication was clearer. There is no end to the complexity one can make a

painting. I have had several paintings in mind that would take a year or more to complete, but at this

stage there are too many directions to explore. My desire is to expand its vocabulary, to see how

many different styles I can create, and to find out just how expressive I can be. From my point of

view, every painting in this book is a study for the next painting.

When you design a matrix, you are not only developing guidelines to follow, you are

creating guidelines to work within. On the other hand, no rule should always be followed and at

time, one should break them all. This is why Matricism has played an important part in developing

or exposing new subject matter. A few of these paintings evolved because the subject dictated

developing a specific form of matrix analysis. Other paintings are a result of creating a matrix and

then looking for an application. There are so many directions that I can go with my experimentation
that I believe I am going to enjoy the next thirty or more years, God willing. When a friend realized

that I was writing a book about my new work she remarked, "Aren't you afraid that others will steal

your ideas?" For Matricism to be a contribution to the art of painting, others will need to have the

opportunity to explore it. If other artists can successfully incorporate a form of matrix analysis into

their own work, then we have proven that Matricism is at least a useful construction tool, and at best,

a new language of expression. Only time will tell if this is a footnote in art history or a new chapter

in the art of painting. By no means do I feel that I have used Matricism to its fullest, for many

innovators of the past have seen others take what they had invented and use it in an entirely new

way, and some even out perform the master himself. The works in this book are all experiments for

the paintings of the future, which is the nature of all experimental art.

One interesting point about the timing of Matricism is that the first computer came into my

house just a few years earlier. I had one of those early models that came with a five-inch instruction

manual that no one could read, and it drove me crazy. I puzzled over the idea of all those ones and

zeros controlling electrical impulses that created light and letters on the screen. I find myself often

relating Matricism to DOS, the computer language. When you design a painting by using a matrix

analysis, you are essentially writing a program that will do a desired job for you. I can see a time

when computers are going to be a great tool by replacing the need for some hand-done color studies,

the time from conception to final analysis before construction could be cut significantly.

Interestingly enough, current computer programs build in layers in the same way a matrix painting is

constructed. There are companies working hard to find a way to put the computer in the hands of

artists. At this point, the technology has some very fine uses such as in manipulating digital

imagery, and that is a good step toward reaching the painter.

I wanted to conclude my book by sharing some of my own perspectives on being a painter in

today's art world. The artists pouring out of the art schools over the last thirty to forty years have

been faced with the "perceived fact" that there is nothing new to discover in the art of painting. We

had taken realism to its height by the 1800's and the Alla Prima method of painting reached its zenith

in the works of John Singer Sargent by the early 1900's. Since that time we have distorted, rejected,

minimalized, smeared, and splashed our way through most of this century. Finding a new form of

expression in the art of painting is viewed by most experts as an impossible task. Leo Castelli, the

greatest living art dealer of our time, has stated many times that "There is nothing new to discover in

the art of painting." For thirty years, my own father's words echoed in my mind, "Son you do not

want to be a painter because the only way to be successful is through innovation, and everything has

been done." Though no one could stop me from trying, those words haunted me every day of my

life. It is important to remember that there are many great painters in the world. The art schools are

filled with talented and devoted students, all looking for themselves through their art. You should

not decide what type of painter you want to be until you have mastered the craft and the science of

painting. Real success comes only through a historical contribution, and if you can give the world

something, anything it has not had before, you will find the freedom to express yourself and

hopefully earn the income needed by everyone on the planet because you are unique.

Approximately one-third of all artists in history never married. Many educated non-painters say it

was because they served only one master, their art. In this artist's view, economics was the primary

reason for this statistic, so plan your development wisely. Learn to paint good pictures!

I believe that we are all victims of circumstances. Mine gave me no choice as to what I was

to be. My father put a pencil in my hand at age three, and he had me competing in art contests at a

very early age. What was unique was the fact that my education started so early, and the first half
was completely focused on Modernism. I did not start a serious study of classical painting until

college. I believe that since modernism was my primary focus in the early years, it had a unique

effect on my development. When I was in third grade, I won a local city contest where all the

downtown merchants let the kids paint Halloween pictures on their front display windows, and the

city provided the water paint. It was open to all kids eighteen and under, and the whole town got

involved every year. There were hundreds of entries that year, and some of those high school kids

could paint rings around me. When I started to plan my window painting, my father told me to go

get his book on Picasso. I won first place that year in spite of the fact that I was so young. It was

simple; I abstracted a witch on a broomstick in Picasso's double-face style. It made the painting

process easy because of the flat use of color, and what really helped me win was that the judges were

from the local university. There is nothing that most college art instructors hate more than realism.

The lesson is, “know your audience!”

My father was a great artist, but he rejected art as a career and went into architecture for the

same reason he wanted me to avoid painting. He believed in financial security and control of one's

own destiny. In the early years, he tried to focus me on industrial art forms. He was always

designing buildings that called for unique items that he had to construct himself, and that usually

meant another family project. Before I was out of high school, I had constructed high relief

sculptured walls for churches, cut all the stained glass by myself for two, and installed the glass for

several others. There were countless other items such as outdoor garden sculptures, altars for

churches that weighed tons, and many forms of casted exterior panels for office buildings, schools,

and homes. For several years, I worked in the art of casted concrete and can still remember the pain

from the holes that the lime would burn into my skin. In the end, my father gave up trying to steer

me away from painting. Much of this earlier training now seems to have had an influence on my

present evolution as a painter.

I was twenty-three years old when I started earning decent money from my paintings. By

having a father who supported my art, I had the fortune of being able to paint for the challenge of

improving early in my career. I had some freedom from market pressures which allowed me to

experiment with many different styles of painting. By having this freedom, I became a good painter

of many different styles. Every time I decided that I wanted to paint like a given artist, I would tear

up the canvases. Through the years I lost interest in trying to follow the footsteps of other artists

because in the end, who really cares if I can paint as well as so-and-so? It was that same old

statement of my father's, still haunting me after so many years. In this day and age, you can become

a highly skilled master and barely scrape out a living unless you can discover a niche in the market

and some way to be promoted. In these times, only one of my fellow students from the old days is

still pounding the pavement with his brushes. All the others have quit painting and disappeared into

the job market.

As I look back from my new perspective, I have come to understand more fully what Robert

Henri meant when he said, "Artists are born, not made." Sometimes we're born in a life where

everything that happens to us pushes us in a given direction. We have the right parents, right

teachers, opportunities to grow, and the right opportunities to suffer. I remember one of my early

teachers, the late Darrell Dishman. He was the type of artist who would drag you out in the worst

weather to paint some old barn on location, and we had a lot of old barns in the Ozarks. He used to

say, "You can not be an artist without suffering." I used to think I could get around all the suffering

by being the best, but I was wrong. It’s not just the act of becoming a good painter that Darrell was

talking about. It was the events in life that make us the type of painter we are. It is through suffering
for our art that builds our foundation for expression. In the end result of our being, it is a balance of

joy and suffrage that makes us what we are. It builds our sensitivity!

If you want to control your own future, you have to be unique. In this day of large demand

and thousands of galleries, if you can offer the market something even slightly unique, you can gain

some recognition and make a fine living. On your way to your final goal, make yourself marketable,

for if you can earn the support you need with your brushes, you will progress towards the artist you

are destined to be. Don't let the stress and suffering get you down, for it will inspire vision, and we

all know that stress is one of the greatest of motivators. All of the hard times I have had in my own

career can be seen as catalysts for change and growth. Another thing that you should keep in mind

is if you want to be a professional artist with a wife and two point five kids, study the art of

promotion and sales. I made it a point to study the history of the business side of art.

Though I have many years ahead of me in this profession, I feel that my experience allows

me to express my perspective on the state of painting and give some advice to the newer generations.

In my opinion it is time for the art world to reassess its neglect of technical skills. Having lectured

at many colleges, I have developed a strong contempt for their educational approach for painters. In

1980, I was giving a lecture at the University in Pittsburgh, Kansas. I was speaking on the subject of

painting for a living when a professor stood up in the back and proclaimed me to be a prostitute of

my art. I had never lost my temper in front of an audience before, but that time I did. My response

was, "Hell yes, I'm a prostitute and a damn good one! The only way to make it is to paint every day,

ten to twelve hours a day. You can't do it if you can't meet your responsibilities. If you want to be a

painter, you have to sell the products of your labor." This is why I believe that every student should

study the art of the masters and learn how to paint good pictures that the local markets will consume.

There have been a lucky few, who have been at the right place at the right time. They come

in contact with the right dealer who has the right need and resources to make it possible for them to

make a fine living with their art. Not everyone can afford an acclaimed artist, so there will always

be a large market for good pictures. Learn how to build them and look for subject matter that can

provide you with survival. As long as you are painting, you are progressing. Study the markets,

know the local dealers, and attempt to fill a perceived need. Who cares if you prostitute your art in

order to get where you want to be. No matter what you paint, every time you pick up a brush, you

are learning to master your art.

I was always infuriated by the idea that my success relied on circumstances or the efforts of a

promoter, rather than my own abilities to excel. With the perception that the "Age of Innovation" in

painting was near an end, painters have had no paths open to them to meet the modern day criteria of

innovation for success and historical recognition. With this perspective in mind, I believe it is time

to change our approach to educating the artists of the future. It is time for the public institutions to

refocus on craftsmanship and the technical skills of painting. The university system has preached

innovation to the exclusion of knowledge and craftsmanship, leaving their students with few of the

important tools needed to really explore who they are. The future of innovation in painting is going

to be in the hands of those whose education is broad based and physically experienced. If the public

institutions refuse to teach both schools of traditional and modern expression, only a few in lucky

circumstances will have the tools to innovate. I believe it is going to take a fantastic amount of

knowledge and expertise to propel the evolution of painting, but it can and will advance.

Technology and environmental change always bring with it a different type of thinking. The art of

painting will not be advanced by students who have only been trained in modern styles of execution.

I have found my reason for being, through my experiments with Matricism. Part of its

conception can be traced to every phase of my growth as an artist. You have seen in my work the

fascination with high relief texture, which was the primary element of design when I was working

with exposed aggregate building blocks and panels. Working with stained glass designs and mosaic

wall and floor patterns has had a great influence on my present style. I also believe that one of the

most powerful influences on my art is the fact that I lived in the Southwest my entire life, away from

the art centers of the world and the powerful influences they can have on a developing artist. The

real lesson is one of mastering your craft. Study all forms of art, all forms of technical development,

and don't get boiled down in your successes. None of us knows for sure how we will find our niche

in the art world or what will facilitate our success. It might be through the committed efforts of an

important teacher or come from an experience long past. Remember that you can only act if you

have the tools and knowledge to do so.

In conclusion, the last piece of advice that I can give is a quote by the great philosopher and

historian, Joseph Campbell. When students asked him how they should move towards the future and

find out who they really are, he said, "Follow your bliss!"



All artists in history have owed their success to a handful of people who gave support and

direction at critical times in their lives. The following individuals have made it possible for me to be

what I am, and I consider this my opportunity to say thanks.

First and foremost, I must share the credit for this endeavor with my father, the late

Migdonio Seidler. A great modernist and innovator in his own field, I am the product of his being.

To my beautiful wife, who has supported me through some of the most traumatic times,

stood by me, and trusted in my future. She has sacrificed much in order for me to obtain my goals.

To my mother, who has always been just a phone call away. She put up with me.

A special thanks to my friends: Mrs. Verda Mae Todd, whose lectures of personal

relationships tamed my artistic temperament and to Judge Ted Akin, who has been there with the

moral support we all need during the tough times.

And last but not least, to my many friends and family members who have supported my

efforts with their love, their faith, and their dollars.

Thank you all.


Sanden, John. Painting the Head in Oil . New York: Watson-Gupill

U U and London: Pitman,

Henri, Robert. Art Spirit . New York: J. B. Lippincott, 1930.

Cooke, Hereward Lester. Painting Techniques of the Masters . New York: Watson-Gulpill

and London: Pitman, 1972.

Birren, Faber. History of Color in Painting . New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1965.

Kemp, Martin. The Science of Color . New Haven and London: Yale University, 1990.

Ratcliff, Carter. John Singer Sargent . New York: Abbeville, 1982.


Faragasso, Jack. The Student's Guide to Painting . Westport: North

U U Light, 1979.