Artist Statement

I am a self-taught artist, but I have been inspired by the work of other painters I have admired over the years. I am fascinated by the luminescent color palettes of Monet and Soutine; the mystical vagueness of Turner; the intensity and solidity of Lucien Freud’s portraits; the textural and compositional complexity of DeKooning and Francis Bacon; and the vibrant individuality of portraits by Alice Neel. These influences can take me in different directions. My pastels of sumo wrestlers are an attempt to reimagine the crude corporeality of Freud’s male nudes using a soft and almost floral treatment. Seascapes have taken me in the direction of blurred imagery and mist, or to the opposite edge involving exaggerated structural forms and undisguised layers of paint. Sometimes these disparate elements battle one another (intentionally or otherwise) within the same work. I think the most interesting paintings keep the viewer conscious of the artistic process. That is why I often use pastels on corrugated cardboard, leaving the ripples visible through figurative work; and why I might choose to break up the sky with a toothpaste-like smear of pure paint.

My technique has changed over the years, as I have become more confident and less methodical. Many of my paintings do not involve brushwork; instead, I squeeze pure color from the tube onto my board or canvas and manipulate it with paper towels and gloved hands. This has rescued me from the trap of overthinking that burdened my earlier efforts, and created bolder, spontaneous results. Although I often take photographs to serve as my inspiration, I am not hoping for realism. Instead, I hope for a mixture of hauntedness and play.