The Morning Glory Suite

The Morning Glory Suite of paintings is based upon colors, textures and patterns found in microscopic imagery and other natural forms. The vertical and horizontal elements, or blots, are inspired by the gel electrophoresis method of DNA sequencing. Also known as Southern Blots, this photographic process captures bands of blot-like forms streaked in vertical columns that phase through shades of grey across the picture plane.

When I met my wife in the early 1990s, she worked in a cancer research laboratory at the University of Minnesota, sequencing DNA using this method. As an artist, I was struck by the patterns and rhythmic forms produced by the technique. I observed an interesting duality in the results of this clinical and ostensibly rigid scientific process. It occurred to me that Southern Blots produced not only an individual’s literal, genetic portrait but also a visually distinct and aesthetically captivating abstract portrait.

The title of the series is derived from the tall trellises of morning glory vines that we grow each summer at our home in Minnesota. From behind the wall of vines, the sun shines through to create patterns of light and shadow within the visual field, reminiscent of the DNA sequencing on a larger scale. In processes such as infusing my work with dot patterns, mesh grids, and layers of color, I abstract these disparate elements to broaden the relationships between my influences.

Morning Glory Suite No. 8 48" x 66", oil on canvas, 2016
Morning Glory Suite No. 8, 48″ x 66″, oil on canvas, 2016


Morning Glory Suite No. 9, 75.25″ x 43.5″, oil on canvas, 2016


Morning Glory Suite No. 10, 75.25″ x 43.5″, oil on canvas, 2010


Morning Glory Suite No. 21, 36″ x 36″, oil on canvas, 2015


Morning Glory Suite No. 22, 36″ x 36″, oil on canvas, 2016


Morning Glory Suite No. 23, 36″ x 36″, oil on canvas, 2016


Morning Glory Suite no. 24, 36″ x 36″, oil on canvas, 2016


Morning Glory Suite No. 25, 36″ x 36″, oil on canvas, 2016