I do not come from a long lineage of artistic greatness. I come from a family of bookbinders, scratch bakers, carpenters, and machinists. Not artists in the academic sense, but people that taught me about the craftsmanship, creative problem solving, and the grit that it takes to create something that you in turn share with the world. I carry this lineage with me proudly and my artistic process honors this legacy.
I have always had a deep love of nature and animals in particular. The animals that are represented in my work are there because, in some way, they have enriched my life or hold a very personal meaning to me. As subject matter, the animals serve a symbolic purpose to the message that I wish to convey, however I also take great care to represent the beauty and spirit of each animal.
The Greek philosopher Plato had a theory about two planes of existence: one being the ideal and the other, the real. I read about this theory many years ago and it has served as a source of inspiration. In my acrylic paintings, the animals move out of or remain in a frame that I have defined in my work as a plane. I think that we all have visions of an ideal situation, life, or world, but we also live in the reality of the situation or experience. Some of the animals choose to remain in their current plane unwilling to leave, while others choose to venture out and risk a new experience. Sometimes the animal balances between the two, keeping one foot in the ideal and the other in the real. The concept of choice and how we face it holds great interest for me.
The mixed media artworks also explore our journey through life. However, in this body of work I have chosen to explore what motivates us to endure, push forward, resist, or even run away. I represent that motivation or drive with a hole that is left exposed on the animals. The holes represent the holes in our lives, and I want to explore how they are filled. While this concept could easily be negative, I choose to focus on the positive. My work has represented those that fill their holes with a life of service or faith, those that seek out beauty in even the most undesirable situations, and those that offer guidance. The birds in these works serve important roles to the larger animals. They can be perceived as guides offering advice, or even antagonists that the larger animal resists. When I develop my compositions, I arrange a situation that implies a narrative that is open to interpretation through the gestures and attitude of the animals being depicted.