I often struggle with the idea of conforming to one signature style which is often at odds with my artistic growth and experimentation. However, if you look close enough, you will see connections. My early work in the area of sculpture and ceramic pottery leaned toward the abstract and non-representational. Over time, I gradually migrated to realistic, two-dimensional representational and figurative subject matter--but never completely abandoned non-representational subject matter. Regardless of the subject matter, I strive to explore the depths and subtleties of human experience based on a synthesis of my experiences, memories, and direct observations. My work flirts with the nature of reality and how to represent it. My realistic renditions incorporate a certain amount of abstraction in the tradition of the early 19th century American realist artist Edward Hopper with his concise style, everyday imagery and content.
Much of my work in the past has been figurative, and figurative painting continues to be the focus of much of the work I produce today. When I draw and paint figures, I am reminded that nothing is more important than people who are at the center of our universal concern for life. I believe that successful figurative work, in whatever medium, must do more than merely document appearances. It must offer a deeper understanding of both the creator and the subject. I am convinced that successful painting is a process of seeing and thinking, rather than one of imitation. It should come as no surprise that my work tends to take on a psychological dimension.
Another body of work I create is landscapes. Although my landscapes are very different than my other art, the underlying issues are closely related. In this genre, my paintings are begun out doors (plein air) and then finished in the studio working from photographs. It is only natural, then, that contradictions and tensions would arise between the art work and the “reality of nature,” forcing a compromise between plein air painting’s emphasis on observation and the older tradition. The unknowable, the unexplained, the metaphor, the romantic and the accidental are all part of my act of painting. My attitudes and feelings are at the center of my artistic expression. Because reality and perception are uniquely personal experiences, truth to the object or scene—i.e., to the actual—is relative.
I am also fascinated with the images and patterns found in the microscopic world, especially within the biological systems of the human body. By looking closely at microscopic imagery and cellular construction as a reference for painting, I have observed similarities between the micro world and many of the physical and sociological systems in modern urban environments. As a result of this observation, I have begun using a camera and computer technology to create digital images of abstract forms taken from nature that reference cellular constructions. In this body of work I often select images that I can manipulate to create visual metaphors for various aspects of the human condition.