What are the major themes you pursue in your work?
Very simply put, my work is about landscapes and my appreciation for nature and a moment in time. I consider my paintings to be simple. They are peaceful, calming and just easy to be around. On a more specific level I find myself attracted to areas in a landscape that have distinct contrasts in both values and colors. Because of this attraction, my paintings often have a body of water in them, whether it’s a pond or the coast. The spots where the water meets up with the land often have those great contrasts and beautiful colors that I love to capture in my work.
What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
Well I didn’t go to art school or study with anyone, so unfortunately I don’t have any real mentors who gave me great advice. But I have listened to and read many artists’ words of wisdom and the key things that have always resonated with me are, “don’t take yourself too seriously”; “find your own voice”; “enjoy the artistic journey” and “paint what you would like to hang on your walls”. These are words I’ve always followed.
Prefer to work with music or in silence?
I would say 90% of the time I have music on. It’s relaxing, inspiring, and having a beat going on in the background works well with the movements a painter makes, especially when you are working on larger canvases. Plus sometimes I like to dance around while I’m working – just because it’s fun; no one can see me – so why not?
If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
This is a great question, because it’s such a hard one to answer. My gosh, how do you choose? I could easily go with a Monet, Rothko or Frankenthaler, but after a lot of thought, my choice would have to be “Autumn Chill and Sun” by Hans Hofmann. When I was teaching myself how to become more abstract and looser in my work, I relied heavily on Hofmann’s work as reference and tried to understand what he was doing with color and the concept of push-pull. Although my work isn’t like his, I do think of this concept when I’m working.
Who are your favorite writers?
First of all, I have to give Stephen King some credit because he’s the author that got me interested in reading. I only ever read what was required of me in school, but back when I was about 19 I got hooked on his stuff – “Misery” was my favorite book for a long time. Some of my other favorites have been “The Poisonwood Bible” by Barbara Kingsolver; “Water for Elephants” by Sara Gruen and “Just Kids” by Patti Smith. I love reading bios about musicians during the 60’s and 70’s and just finished “Mercury” by Lesley-Anne Jone.