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I am interested in creating paintings that capture the unity of all life on earth, with an emphasis on wild nature. My work is primarily fueled by the desire to build a bridge between our ancestral connection to the natural world and our current detachment from it. Acting from this side of the bridge, I seek to create a renewed respect and connection to the fantastic animals and plants that share the earth with us. I take my role of the artist as a duty to inspire love for nature and filter it through my own aesthetic of beauty, informed by my interest in art history, design, fashion, and discarded belongings.
My paintings can most easily be described as symbolic portraits comprised of a multitude of imagery culled from a wide range of visual sources. Oftentimes, a particular animal is surrounded by a carefully constructed arrangement of organic forms, graphic shapes, bold swatches of pattern and color, jewels, beads, and flowers woven together to create a whole world within the painting where a new kind of sense is made.
The composition is initially constructed as a collage of archived imagery, extracted from a diverse collection of source material including second-hand textbooks, nature books, and magazines. Each element is studied and painted to create a photorealistic, unified painting imbued with the energy and focus of my mind and my hands. The result often tricks the viewer into believing the work is a cut and paste collage, when in reality it is much more. This realization pulls the viewer in to stay with the work longer and enjoy it more fully, which is the ultimate reward.
I am deeply inspired by the work of Joseph Campbell, the American mythologist, whose life work evinces the fact that mythology holds an important function for human society. He maintains that our myths must transform and evolve to continue to address the realities of contemporary life. My work is created with this thought in mind, though there is no single narrative for a single painting, inciting purposeful ambiguity to spark the inventive voice of the imagination. For I am not a storyteller, but an abstract image-maker, inspired by the archetypal stories from the distant past. And with an eye on our rapidly vanishing wildlife, I seek to create a new visual mythology to encourage compassion and respect for the living world that sustains us all.