I strive to paint beautiful paintings. There is no implied complex meaning or desire to use painting metaphors. I find beauty in the way the light reflects off the wooden surface, the way the hair merges with the background, the contract of warm and cool subtleties in the model’s skin, the thickness of the stroke itself and what I can achieve with it. I want to pull the viewer into my world I create, and follow the calculated compositional arrangement that I intended.
Ideas for new paintings are developed in my head over time, feeding on my experiences and visual knowledge of paintings before me. It’s not necessarily planned or deliberate. Sometimes they slowly mature, and they do not let me go until I pay them attention. It may be a reflection on the copper dipper that I just can’t get out my head, or the warm shadow under someone’s arm against the wood. Slowly, the whole composition starts to develop. I don’t necessarily have an exact replica of what I am about to do in my head, but I have a very clear idea of the purpose, the composition and the flow of light. Sometimes I even know where the underpainting will show through, where I would paint thickly, some more abstract qualities would start to shape up. Then I work on finding pieces – or models – to implement it. It’s almost a physical need to express, and to clear way for something else that is developing. It’s who I am, more so than what I want to do – I will need to continue painting regardless of how many pieces were sold. I am very fortunate to have this outlet to express myself and to continue to develop and train it through years of education and artistic career.
Figurative Paintings include portraits and general figurative work. Some are commissioned works, some are life studies, and some are compositions that I just had to get out of my head. Figurative painting, especially Portrait painting, is challenging. Everything you know about drawing, values, edges and temperature relationships is amplified as the plane changes and transitions are limitless. The demand for the likeness complicates this even more, as you have to carefully measure. There is a lot of craft in this art form, so to speak. Yet it’s so rewarding. For one, if you work with a model live, you have a connection that you simply can’t have with a still life or a landscape. Also, when you have those eyes literally follow you, and present a sitter right there on your canvas without even finishing the rest of the face – that’s a very strange and exciting feeling. Like you just created something that lives on its own. And the simpler the means that you used to achieve that, the more exciting it is.
I really enjoy still lifes. Still lifes allow me to experiment with composition and edges without worrying about a sitter "sitting still"... although I have to be careful with flowers.
Drawings - sometimes sketches and studies for larger compositions, sometimes conceived as works of their own merit. But always helping me to feel engaged and continuing to learn the craft.