trAction Painting

trAction Painting is a form of performance/process art that I pioneered in late 2011. By using specially equipped bicycles, roller skates, and other wheeled conveyances, I apply paint to large canvases and other flat surfaces to create abstract images that are in some ways reminiscent of work by Jackson Pollock and other Action Painters.

I coined the term trAction Painting in part as a take-off on “Action Painting,” a phrase invented by American critic Harold Rosenberg in 1952, in his essay “The American Action Painters.” The name for my genre of painting is also based on the definitions of traction as “the drawing of a vehicle by motive power; the adhesive friction of a body on a surface on which it moves.”

I vary the width and texture of lines I create by employing thin-wheel inline skates; wide-wheel, dual-track quad skates; one bicycle with narrow treadless tires and a second one with knobby mountain-bike tires.

Although I have a general plan in mind when I start a painting, accident and serendipity play an important role in realization of the result. In performance and process art, the action and process are as important as, if not more so than, the finished product. Part of the process is its ongoing documentation, in stills, videos, journals, and blogs.