My work evolves from a close reading of cultural objects from the past, usually paintings from the Renaissance and Baroque periods . As I look I begin to sense alternate configurations and compositions that seem to me latent in some of these works. Over time I tease out a new image from these sources , and this becomes my work. In this way, I have found a way of making paintings from bits and pieces of imagery from masterworks of the Western tradition. Using a palette of imagery that already has a life as art compels me to see masterpieces not as inert objects with definitive identities, but as mutable sets of potentialities ripe for transformation. I compose my pieces , choose colors and create shapes as any painter does, but my blue may come from the sky section of a Raphael painting and the green could have been part of a dragon`s tail from Piero di Cosimo. The sweep of Christ`s arm or the folds in a Saint`s robes can double as gestural brushstrokes in the new image I create. I like the challenge of adjusting to and accepting direction from a reality outside of myself; we all speak in languages invented by others. I also enjoy the process of coaxing an image out of its prior identity and causing it to assume a new one. Assembled from parts of highly representational source paintings, the resulting new works emerge largely as abstractions. Up close the viewer can still recognize the Madonna`s robes and pieces of landscape the picture is made of but stepping back, the painting falls into rhythmic abstraction. The imagery maintains both its original identity and assumes its new one , in a sort of parallel play. In this way the historical antagonists, abstraction and figuration, embrace and the present is formed and informed by the past. The paintings I use as sources were intended to narrate stories and deal with issues of the utmost importance; religious, spiritual, social and political. I grew up with these stories in Catholic school and was shaped by them. During my work process these narratives and the specificity of their meanings become dispersed, but continue to influence the new work through continuities of tone and association.