“My drawings and paintings include still lives, portraits, landscapes, and figures. I am interested in creating timeless and universal images. My work is novelistic—I treat my figures as characters, draw on myths and shared stories to inform still lives, and construct scenes in landscapes. I try to consume culture with intention—I find books and music a well source of content. Sometimes I directly illustrate lyrics from songs; other times, I have a book in mind as I go about my daily life until I come across something that resonates with the feeling of the story. For example, after reading Willa Cather, I saw a barn on a hill whose desolate quality embodied My Antonia. This story informed choices regarding my palette and composition and ultimately heavily influenced the finished painting.
I generally paint from life, imagination, and sometimes from photograph. I often build maquettes and have elaborate studio set ups that involve mannequins and multiple lighting scenarios. Working in this manner is interesting to me and can lead to images that have an eerie quality where something seems not-quite-right. Using multiple sources allows me to maintain a curiosity that keeps me interested in the image.
It is important to me to make paintings and drawings that are earnest. One of my favorite writers, Jim Harrison, was quoted as saying,
I like grit, I like love and death…a lot of good fiction is sentimental…the novelist who refuses sentiment refuses the full spectrum of human behavior, and then he just dries up…I would rather give full vent to all human loves and disappointments, and take the chance on being corny…
This statement sums up my approach to painting. I like paintings that give me a sense of comfort by revealing something about what it means to be human. For me, this is an ultimate goal and at the heart of why I draw and paint.