Paul Jenkins called himself an Abstract Phenomenist. One definition of this is an object or aspect known through the senses rather than by thought or intuition. His works are metaphysical dramas or illusions. One important teacher to this Kansas born artist was Yasuo Kuniyoshi. Jenkins was attracted to the moisture in Kuniyoshi's work and said, "moisture is water and air - the quality of moisture is life, a thing which breathes has moisture".
Jenkins primed his canvases for both protection and to create a stimulating context which created a white undercoat that imparted a luminosity to the canvas and gave the veils a different substance quality and texture. He then proceeded to paint the invisible which he knew was there. The actual colors, light and substance, shapes that tapered and resisted association with geometry complete with swells and contractions that he considered vital to the phenomena which reflected or revealed an incandescent light. By the addition of gray Jenkins felt he was able to get a new sense of "structure". Gray provided him with a curious open space that challenged the scale of the painting no matter how small or large. Jenkins' phenomena was the link between the known and unknown, the material and spiritual.
source: Albert Elsen. Paul Jenkins, published by Harry N Abrams Inc, New York City.