I am a realist in every sense of the word. I paint things as they exist, in the representational tradition, but also in the concepts behind my work. I am a truth teller. I love the classical approach to painting and its ability to so easily invite the viewer in. However, I also know the value abstraction, and the power it has to express things that realism cannot, and so I try to include both in my paintings. There is nothing I love more than a delicate and detailed figure on an expressive background.
My paintings begin in a journal. I record my frustrations, sorrows, joys, ambitions, hopes and then I transform those words into images. I guess you could say I very literally draw from life experience. I try to be as honest as I can in the telling, I don’t mince words. I then release the story to the canvas, and as I paint I am enabled to process the experience in a new way and to learn from it. I’m not fast, I take my time with the painting, and the lesson in it. Layer by layer I work, carefully revealing the wisdom inside.
When it comes to creating images I believe that simplicity is key. The more concise you can say something, the more powerful it is. So although my writing is usually lengthy, I look for symbols I can use, and try to condense my thoughts into a concise visual statement. I strive to find a short cut right to the heart of the viewer, something that will strike them at first glance.
When I have taken the painting as far as I can, I return to writing. And just when I think I have dissected a particular idea, when I have learned all I could, writing usually takes it one step further. Words then become the final layer to the piece. The work and the text are then offered up together to others. I then find my experiences are not all that original, as the work strikes a familiar cord in the viewer. People often place themselves inside my work, and add their story to mine, and thus my heart and the heart of my audience connect over the canvas.
View the finished piece: