About the current series...
I paint because it enables me to put my ideas and thoughts into physical form. When I view the world around me, I am constantly breaking it down through lines, connections, planes, measurements, power, weight, and influence - as if I am editing a rough draft with highlighters and pens. I love deconstructing life and looking at it through slow motion - why did this happen or how did that happen? If I were able to map and graph organic, uncontrollable material, such as animals or humans, then maybe I can make more sense of it all. I cannot control much of life, but when I paint it, I can control a slice of it.
All of my work consistently contains an animal or a human figure as the subject matter. I am stripping the subjects of their natural surroundings and placing them into geometric spaces, which are very clean and structured. In some of the work, these spaces and lines are to deconstruct the subject frozen in its position. In other pieces, the spaces give the subject a new context to reveal something about the subject or to consider a new perspective for the subject.
To date, I have focused much of my time on a single animal or figure and have broken it down within the moment it has been captured. My goal over time is to add complexity to the subjects and give them a stronger context through the line work, planes, and spaces in which I juxtapose them. I am exploring ways to capture a subject in a moment of chaos, movement, or organic being and break it down through a new context of lines and planes, as if I were an architect creating the very moment at hand to give a sense of order.
I have always loved slow motion replays in sports – in real time one can miss things, but in slow motion, everything is seen and the mystery is revealed. If a subject were stopped in motion and deconstructed, what could be revealed about it? I want to map out the big picture as a means to grasp it better – make it seem less overwhelming.
History, folklore, and legends have always fascinated me in the ways they portray power. Literature - fiction and nonfiction - constantly references animals in metaphors and myths or with nicknames and I enjoy using these references as starting points for the work. Hierarchy of power within nature intrigues me - the food chain for example. The fox eats the hare and the hare eats the carrot; it is a necessary evil. Bears have various shapes, sizes, and temperaments geographically. What would happen if they were all in the same room together? I enjoy lineages - birth orders and successions of royalty or power. Predecessors and siblings intrigue me. Such topics give me a lot of inspiration.
I am attracted to work by Egon Schiele, Francis Bacon, and Edward Hopper because they have pain, sadness, and/or self-hatred in their work. In contrast, I strive to take my past and learn from it by not repeating the mistakes again – over analyzing them and trying to replay them and atone for them in the present. Piet Mondrian and Ellsworth Kelly inspire me because they, for a moment, found perfection in paintings. There is a sense of peace when I look at their work. As for technique, I lean on Andrew Wyeth’s works as inspiration – his draftsmanship and handling of the paint was so controlled and intentional. His brushwork and the fine-tuning he strategically places throughout his pieces complement his compositions.
My contemporary influences include Kevin Earl Taylor, Walton Ford, and Josh Keyes – their subject matter appears similar in their use of animals and line-work, but each tell a completely different story. I appreciate their abilities to successfully use animals in a moving way.
Evolving this body of work both excites and motivates me. I look forward to seeing where further exploration can lead in my pursuit of putting thoughts and ideas into physical form.