The Relationship is an important theme in my work. The subject relates to another element in the painting, or to the viewer. There is a dialogue. The composition defines the dialogue, and although I use my own photographs for ideas, I isolate a particular dynamic in the image to create a composition with meaning and relationship. The intention is to create a painting with a unique mood or emotion. The painting tells a story of a moment in time.
I find relationships intriguing, and as I wander through life’s experiences, I often observe unique communications between two entities that compels me to pull out my camera. I capture it, and worry about the composition later. I feel inspired to create when I see two dogs kissing, a bird eating road-kill, a man thinking at a coffee shop, or birds on a wire sharing their day’s adventure with the rest of the flock. I love watching animals interact with each other, and the beauty of that compels me to express it in a painting.
In the past I focused on portraits and still lives. The use of the camera to capture birds in relationship began in New York, but I didn’t do very much with it. I struggled with subject matter, media, and whether I could make it as an artist compared to Julian Schnabel. Now, I don’t care about Julian Schnabel. I enjoy painting what I see, and what I understand and feel to be the situation.
I am a realist with expressionist tendencies. I work in pastel and conte crayon on board. I build my paintings like one would build a sculpture. There is texture and movement in my work. I love to use the eraser as a pencil. There is so much depth in a removed line or mark. It’s gone but it’s still there, never really being able to be completely erased. Mistakes are part of the relationship. I choose colors which harmonize with each other. There is a colorful accent somewhere in the painting. I use red, or another bright color, to draw attention to one area. Mostly, I use a narrow palette.
My goal is to capture the reality of what is, the expression of my subject, and the space that surrounds it. It’s a snippet in time, and through that I bring the view into the scene so they can see what I see and feel what I feel about the story.