General Collection

For at least 45,000 years humans have been making paintings by applying pigment to surfaces. The Freed Painting process is a fundamental shift in the approach to making paintings. Instead of paint being a medium applied to a two-dimensional picture plane, Freed Painting is paint liberated from the application surface, allowed its own identity, existing in three-dimensional space. Each strand is unique and combines with the others to culminate in finished paintings unlike anything seen before.

Kaleidoscopic

In February of 2018, I began making hundreds of strands of acrylic paint and hanging them on bars, creating what I call the first Freed Paintings. This was paint liberated from an application surface, existing freely in three-dimensional space. What I did not realize was that months later those strands would stretch, and wind up as a pile on the floor. Failed paintings.  

In August of 2019, I completed my first successful Freed Painting entitled Kaleidoscopic. When I say “successful”, I mean “archival”. The reason the previous paintings failed was that they lacked an important element, encapsulated strength members. The addition of encapsulated strength members to the paint strands prevents them from stretching and provide mechanical strength and archival stability. I had found the key to producing paintings consisting of suspended strands of acrylic paint that will last hundreds of years. I had made the idea started 35 years earlier of freeing paint from the canvas surface a reality.  

Kaleidoscopic was an experiment to try as many colors as I could and see how they looked as a composition. I’m pleased to say they work together nicely. 

Painting completed 08-2019 

Painting dimensions: H: 72″ X W: 72″

Spectrum

In November of 2019, I completed my second successful Freed Painting entitled Spectrum. This painting is an examination of the color spectrum between violet and red. A rainbow, so to speak. If you look at each “color” there are varying hues/shades making up that color. What I love about the painting is that initially, people may think it is just another “rainbow” painting, but when you get up close to it, you see that there is a lot more going on than originally met the eye. There is an “aha” moment that transforms the painting into something. . . . more.

Painting completed 11-27-2019 

Painting dimensions: H: 72″ X W: 72″

Roses

Roses, completed in April of 2020 took a very circuitous route to become the finished painting it is today. I started only with an interest in the paint color, nothing else. No title, no idea of content. Very unlike me. I began making paint strands and as the piece evolved my wife thought it looked like a giant piece of bubble gum. For a while, it was titled, Hubba Bubba. But it was not to be. Barnett Newman was swimming around in my mind and as I progressed, strands of pink and red found their way into the painting. For a while, there was a band of copper-colored strands, but they too were not to be. Eventually, my wife said it didn’t look like bubble gum anymore and so I was back to finding a title. As the painting neared completion, its sumptuousness presented itself in full and I felt like I was in a rose garden. So, Roses became the title.  

Painting completed 4-12-2020 

Painting dimensions: H: 72″ X W: 72″

Chuqui y Pena

Chuqui y Pena is another painting where I started with little in mind other than an interest in working with copper and silver metallic acrylic paints. I had the idea for the “necklace” effect but was unsure of how it would look. Thankfully, the “necklace” of silver strands complemented the vertical copper strands nicely, creating a dynamic composition.  

The title for the painting evolved while working on it in June of 2020. “Chuqui” and “Pena” are nicknames for the largest copper mine in the world, Chuquicamata in Northern Chile, and the largest silver mine in the world, Penasquito in North-Central Mexico. I think the painting is fun and the title reflects its lighthearted energy.  

Painting completed 6-19-2020 

Painting dimensions: H: 72″ X W: 72″

Opal Azul

Four years ago, when I was developing my Freed Painting process, the first strand painting that I produced was entitled Opal Azul. Unfortunately, over the next months, I watched the painting sag and stretch and become a pile of strands on the floor. I learned that if I wanted to suspend strands of paint in three-dimensional space, they would require encapsulated strength members. After much research and discussion with my paint supplier and a polymer scientist from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, I settled on three strength members that would provide my paintings with proper archival support and durability. 

My Clairvoyant Series was heady stuff and now that it is completed, I am going back to my original strand making process to make eight paintings just for the fun of it. No series. Eight paintings that will each stand on their own. 

The first of those paintings is a remake of Opal Azul. The painting is based on a beautiful opal pendant owned by my wife’s friend.  Opal Azul is lavish and opulent with a brilliant combination of varying blue and turquoise/green strands that makes for a rich and sumptuous painting.

Painting completed 6-3-2021 

Painting dimensions: H: 72″ X W: 72″

Race Cars

An inherent quality of the strands in my Freed paintings, aside from a sense of liberation is a sense of velocity, flow, movement. That quality is placed center stage in my painting entitled, Race Cars. Whether they be Formula One, Stock Cars or Dragsters, these cars are all about speed.

Race cars are typically painted with flamboyant colors to make them stand out. I chose purple, bright orange and bright green to depict three cars streaking by, jockeying for position. I think this painting captures and exudes the essence of speed and movement that race cars embody.

Painting completed 6-18-2021 

Painting dimensions: H: 72″ X W: 72″ approximately

Gold Rush

I wanted to play with strand density variation, sparseness to abundance in my Freed painting entitled, Gold Rush.  I also wanted to play with gradation of dark to light.  At the bottom of the painting are a few dark strands, but as you visually work your way up, the strands grow in abundance and light until you reach the top of the painting.  I kept adding layers of shorter, lighter colored gold strands until I reached the top but still felt like there wasn’t enough density and that is when I decided to pour paint right onto the top layers and let it ooze down the strands of the painting.  The pouring gave the painting the finishing touch I was looking for.  It gave the painting a richness, a deliciousness that is inexplicable and must be seen to be appreciated.

Surprisingly, there is a nice variety of gold toned paints available, so I used all of them to transition from dark – antique gold to light – sun gold.  They combine to produce a painting that is really quite spectacular.

Painting completed 7-6-2021 

Painting dimensions: H: 72″ X W: 72″

Iron Curtain

In 1946 Winston Churchill coined the term, “Iron Curtain” to describe the divide between Communist Eastern Europe and Democratic/Republic Western Europe.

Iron Curtain is a metaphor for separation and the sorrow and challenges that come with it. My Freed painting entitled, Iron Curtain is an exploration into the experience of separation and all that it means, from grand geo-political division to personal sorrow caused by unmet needs.
Separation is often about protection. It is about “us” versus “them”, protecting the “included” from the “excluded”. We see it in religion, ethnicity, many other areas where social and personal judgement creates division. It talks to a primal need we humans have for security and belonging.

Separation also affects many of us on an intimate level, such as when you realize that you will never get the nurture and affirmation you crave from a parent. You will notice in my painting that there are many paint “splotches” or agglomerations that symbolize scars from wounds suffered at the hands of physical or emotional separation. Humans crave connection with other humans and the world around us, but many of us are thwarted in our attempt to build the connections we so crave. How we face separation often defines us as people. The adversity and challenges mold us. If we can face the fire, endure the tests, we often find that wisdom, compassion and (inner) peace are the resulting gifts.

Not all separation is bad. As we grow up, there is a time for us to separate ourselves from our parents and go out into the world and become our own person. It is a transition from dependence to self-reliance. Being able to stand on your own two feet and forge your own path, free from concern of others’ judgement of you is the highest aspiration and I wish that for everyone reading this.

Painting completed 7-29-2021 

Painting dimensions: H: 72″ X W: 144″ 

Royalty

Purple is the color of royalty.  The virtue of wisdom is also symbolized by the color purple.  Purple and its corresponding violet, plum and lavender hues are opulent colors.  The pigments are rare and expensive and is why they are used in only the most exclusive fabrics for the most elite.  Unfortunately, as we look back through history, royalty and wisdom have been all too infrequent partners.  For that reason, the color purple has developed an unfortunate stigma, a kind of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde persona.  On the one hand, the color pervades an unmatched regal quality, but has been worn by elite who justify atrocious acts in the name of divine right.  Absolute power corrupting absolutely.

At first glance my Freed painting, Royalty seems to be a delicious visual indulgence, but upon closer examination, one may sense a faint, lurking sinister sensation.  That is the stain the color suffers, wrought by the acts of unscrupulous people.  A gorgeous color tainted with an unjust reputation.  

This is the first Freed painting where I used both matte and glossy finishes on my strands.  I have been using glossy finishes exclusively until this time.  The difference is not very noticeable but was an interesting experiment.  The color purple carries a lot of baggage with it.  There is a deeper story beneath the surface and that quality fascinates me, making it one of my favorite colors.

Painting completed 8-7-2021 

Painting dimensions: H: 72″ X W: 72″

Orange Juice

My Freed painting entitled, Orange Juice is a celebration of the color orange, it’s as simple as that. The color orange is like an excited puppy that demands attention NOW! Thirsty yet?!

I played with an extreme range of strand lengths from just a few inches long to nearly thirteen feet in length. The result is a painting with many gaps and jagged bottom. Visually, it is a bit unsettling, but I think it matches the frenetic quality of the color.

Painting completed 9-4-2021 

Painting dimensions: H: 72″ X W: 72″ approximately

Primordial (Hero Quest)

In March 2020 I completed a tall, narrow Freed painting entitled, Jungle. Primordial (Hero Quest) is an expanded exploration of that same subject. For millions of years primordial forests and jungles covered the earth. Dinosaurs roamed through them and later flowers, birds and mammals evolved. What a frightful and thrilling experience it would be to explore those ancient times.

Jungles and dense forests are places of mystery where one can literally get lost. Many a mythic tale begins with a “hero” venturing into a forest or jungle only to lose themselves, face their demons and become the people they were meant to be. THAT is what this painting is about.

A few years ago, I had a realization that the path I was walking was not taking me to where I wanted to go. I realized that my destiny lay in a direction that would require me to forge my own path. I would have to relinquish the safety of the known and embrace in terror the freedom of the unknown if I was going to evolve and realize my true nature. Joseph Beuys stated that, “every man is creative and can be an artist when he/she risks continual confrontation with him/herself”. I believe that statement and it strikes me as an ideal definition of “hero quest”. Every one of us, in our daily lives is engaged in hero quest if we look at ourselves honestly and without judgement.

Primordial (Hero Quest) uses layers of embellished strands to create a dense and deep visual experience that beckons and challenges you to physically immerse yourself in the painting. You are standing in front of a transformative portal. Are you bold enough to step inside. . .?

Painting completed 9-13-2021 

Painting dimensions: H: 72″ X W: 72″

Invisible

This painting is a tribute to the outcast, the forgotten, the invisible of our society. Humanity is in the Stone Age of our development. Our consciousness needs to evolve as well as our capacity for compassion if we are to create a fair, just, and equitable human community on this planet.

On a positive note, this painting is also a tribute to the unsung heroes already working tirelessly for the betterment of all creatures. All inhabitants of this planet are blessed by the generous of heart, the selfless who make living life a more fulfilling experience.

Invisible is made completely from transparent strands of acrylic medium. Each strand has an encapsulated transparent strength member. The strands were made using two distinctively different methods.

Painting completed 10-6-2021 

Painting dimensions: H: 72″ X W: 24″

Not Black

At first glance this painting looks black, but it isn’t. It is made up of deep hues of green, blue, violet, and crimson. This painting is about first impressions and how deceiving they can be. It is wise to withhold judgement and gather all the facts prior to forming an opinion. It is wiser still to not judge at all.

Painting completed 9-23-2021 

Painting dimensions: H: 72″ X W: 24″

Raven Wing

Raven Wing is the first Freed Painting where embellishments were added to the strands to evoke an image of feathers in the viewer’s mind. Raven’s wings have a shimmering purple tint to their black feathers. That is what I tried to portray in the piece. A wing. . . a possibility of flight. That’s what I hoped to convey. 

Originally, I began with a different idea. I wanted to explore a painting using the color black, but as it evolved, the idea of an additional embellishment came to me, which lead me to the idea of a “raven’s wing”. 

Additionally, ravens are a favorite bird of mine. They are incredibly smart and are depicted as trickster gods in Native American mythology. They intrigue me to no end.  

Painting completed 12-15-2019 

Painting dimensions: H: 72″ X W: 24″

Angel Wing

Angel Wing (Carolina’s Ascension) is the second painting where I used embellishment to make the paint strands look like feathers. Completed in January of 2020, this paining is a tribute to my wife’s mother who lost her battle with cancer and passed away this past week (10-26-2020). Prior to her leaving us, there was a transformation that took place as the physical body deteriorated, slowly giving way. The spirit manifested itself in a growing luminous presence. My hope is that I captured that luminance and sense of flight. . . Beyond. 

Painting completed 1-18-2020 

Painting dimensions: H: 72″ X W: 24″

Prometheus

Prometheus may be the most overtly confident painting of my Freed Paintings. The Titan Prometheus defied the gods by stealing fire and giving it to humanity. Through this painting, I bring fire to the Art world in the form of Freed Painting.  

Freed Painting liberates paint from the canvas surface, allowing it to exist freely in three dimensional space for the first time.  It is a new paradigm.  A fundamentally different process from that of Traditional methods.  A grand assertion. . .The paintings speak for themselves.  

Painting completed 12-8-2019 

Painting dimensions: H: 72″ X W: 24″

Golden Fleece

The tale of Jason and the Argonauts’ adventure to steal the Golden Fleece is one of the oldest and grandest Hero Quest myths. Hero Quest mythology has always interested me because they are metaphors for our own lives. If we are observant, life teaches us, and we evolve spiritually.  That is the hero’s journey, that is our journey. 

My painting, Golden Fleece was completed in March 2020 and is another example of embellishment being applied to the acrylic paint strands to evoke texture and render a more tactile representation of the subject, in this case, the fleece of a golden ram. Personally, when I look at the painting, I can feel the softness of the wool enveloping me in sumptuous warmth and comfort.  

Painting completed 3-23-2020 

Painting dimensions: H: 72″ X W: 24″

Koshare

In January of 2020 I produced the attached painting.  I wanted to explore weaving my paint strands and wanted to make an abstract tribute to Picasso’s saltimbanques.  My intention was to produce a “checkerboard” pattern.  Instead, it wound up being black and white stripes.  I felt like the painting was a failure, but couldn’t bring myself to destroy it because it was so beautiful and it was a good lesson regarding weaving my paint strands.

Recently, I was researching Hopi Kachinas and came across the black and white striped Koshare clown/trickster figure.  It hit me!  I found THE theme/title for this painting!  It has never happened that way for me.  Usually I have a theme/title in mind and the painting unfolds around that.  This time, over a year later, the title revealed itself to me.  Personally, I think it is perfect.  I love mythological trickster figures. . . Lessons are revealed/learned in unorthodox ways. 

Painting completed 1-8-2020/5-13-2021 

Painting dimensions: H: 72″ X W: 24″ approximately

YinYang

Completed in late June of 2020, YinYang is a lighthearted take on the ancient karmic symbol.  Traditionally the YinYang symbol is black and white, representing the dualistic aspects of right and wrong. I took a more lighthearted approach using bright green and blue. The most difficult part of the painting was making two paint splashes that matched. Though this painting takes a fun approach, I think it still conveys the essential meaning behind the symbol.

Painting completed 6-27-2020 

Painting dimensions: H: 72″ X W: 24″

Purple Haze

Purple Haze completed at the end of June 2020 is another successful experiment that produced an exciting result. First, I laid out rows of strength members encapsulated in acrylic paint in a 12 ft. long X 2 ft wide area and then proceeded to “bomb” the area with varying shades of purple acrylic paint creating a continuous sheet. When thoroughly dried, I suspended the sheet of paint, freeing it from the application surface. This painting has led the way for two of my most important transparent Clairvoyant Series paintings entitled, Omniscient and God. 

Though still reliant on encapsulated strength members for archival strength, this approach expands the possibilities offered by Freed Painting.  

Painting completed 6-30-2020 

Painting dimensions: H: 72″ X W: 24″

Samson

Samson was begun and finished in late October 2020. The painting is based on the Old Testament story of Samson and Delilah, a story about strength, love, betrayal and vengeance. Samson’s long, golden, curly locks are depicted in the painting, the source of Samson’s strength. The painting is also a bit of a self-portrait as I have not cut my hair for over 7 months, since the start of the pandemic.  

Painting completed 10-30-2020 

Painting dimensions: H: 72″ X W: 24″

Rapunzel

I had been thinking about Rapunzel a lot before I completed it in February 2020. My biggest concern was that I didn’t know how to braid. Thankfully, my nieces did, and they were more than happy to help. Another concern was the fact that the strands were the longest (20 ft.  approximately) I had ever immersed, so that was a new experience that thankfully turned out to be less of a challenge than I originally thought. With strands in hand, I loaded my car and headed over to see my nieces and as expected, they had much quicker ways of braiding than I  had learned from YouTube. By the end of the day, I had nearly all the braids that I needed.  

I used a variety of colors to capture an assortment of hair colors that grace human heads.  Flowing down the wall and onto the floor adds dramatic flair.  

Painting completed 2-21-2020 

Painting dimensions: H: 94″ X W: 14″

Jungle

Jungle is another Freed Painting that uses embellished paint strands to evoke a feeling of dense foliage, but more than that, hopefully, elicits the sounds of birds and insects and flowing water in the viewers imagination. Completed in March of 2020, this tall, narrow painting is like a slice of jungle turned into a painting. Its physical depth and tactile presence are two of the finest examples of the possibilities offered by Freed Painting.  

Painting completed 3-15-2020 

Painting dimensions: H: 94″ X W: 14″

Clown

Clown was completed in February 2020 and is based loosely on Picasso’s circus performers and actors that he portrayed during his Rose Period (1904 – 1906). Specific in my mind was his painting from 1905 entitled, The Family of Saltimbanques. I produced a painting prior to Clown that I entitled, Saltimbanque, but I felt that it did not successfully convey the meaning/content that I intended. Clown is the first piece where I experimented with “bombing” strands with small individual globs of acrylic paint. I think the piece is successful and exudes a lighthearted quality. Its success laid the foundation for future paintings that expanded the use of the “bombing”  technique with exciting results.  

Painting completed 2-3-2020 

Painting dimensions: H: 94″ X W: 14″

America

America was completed in January of 2020. This is the first Freed Painting to use “stripes” of fiberglass mesh as the encapsulated strength member. I was somewhat anxious making this painting, because America seems to be such a volatile idea currently, not just here in our country, but abroad as well. I wanted to strip away all the noise and focus on the essence and the idea of Betsy Ross’s first flag came to me. A fundamental symbol, red, white, and blue. Despite all the problems, America continues to be the beacon of liberty and democracy on this planet and I hope this painting conveys that ideal.  

Painting completed 1-25-2020 

Painting dimensions: H: 94″ X W: 14″