Non-referential abstract painting gives Race the opportunity to explore free flowing intuitive feelings that may refer to specific life events. They percolate and develop then are “taken out and emptied onto the canvas”, woven together with the formal aspects of painting. By the time a painting is complete, specific references to personal experience may not be visible but an emotional quality of the experience may remain and be felt.
There is a “duality” to this work that deals with the exterior and interior or physical and soul. It manifests itself through the use of value structure, which Race calls “between Dark and Light”, as well as shape, veiling, and vertical divisions of the canvas or panel.
His muses are external: the marks and scars of experience on the body, the patina on surfaces from ancient petroglyphs to rusty metal, peeling paint and cracks to contemporary graffiti. The internal also inspires: the effects of experience on the soul and spirit as well as contemplative observations of nature and civilization.