I am a painter passionate about my art’s message. And that message is simple—how we perceive our relationship to our natural environment. Choosing not to record a grandiose landscape, I choose instead to focus on the small, incidental natural objects we pass over with barely a notice in our everyday activities – a crinkled leaf, a torn feather, an abandoned nest, a worn stone. This conscious effort to honor the mundane and incidental is part of a philosophy that started years earlier. Always a meticulous drawer, I have always been successful in creating masterful renderings of nature. From graphite to scratchboard to colored pencil, my early works showed a sensitivity to the object, a sensitivity that would become center to my current painting style.
My acrylic paintings contain exquisitely detailed renderings of found objects in nature. These items are usually trapped or otherwise held in place by something commonly created by man – a string, barbed wire, a piece of rusted iron tool. I place these objects against a backdrop of beautifully balanced colors that have been textured with mediums and stained with layers of glazing and washes to create the appearance of a time worn surface. My use of trompe l’oeil gives these subjects a believable three-dimensional life in the paintings.
Incorporating the Japanese Zen aesthetic of wabi-sabi is elemental in my compositions. Deliberately austere, my compositions focus one’s attention to the detailed renderings of natural and man-made items that play out their balancing act on the painted stage. Wabi-sabi is a belief that all things living are imperfect, impermanent and incomplete. Things that are humble and modest are therefore beautiful in a small and quiet way. I try to capture this simple and understated beauty in nature.
One will also find in every painting, a circle. The circle has been and continues to be a very profound symbol for indigenous peoples around the world. It stands for unity and harmony and because we seem to have lost a connection with nature that primitive cultures enjoyed, I deliberately break up or wear away the circle in the painting to show the disconnection we now have with nature. The circle completes the painting. Without it, I feel it would become just a painted still life study of nature. I want the viewer to be drawn into the work, to meditate on the serenity and contemplate the fragile connection we have with nature.