In a time when many are snared by instant gratification and self-glorification, I invite viewers to slow down and see the intricacies in the layers--not only in my paintings, but in lives lived around them each day. It takes significant dedication to observe, wonder, and listen, but as we invest in these moments together, we discover beauty hidden beneath the surface. My hope is that viewers will accept this invitation and be fortified together by new discoveries.
My recent work focuses primarily on the human figure revealing aspects of their inner being. These figures, mostly women and girls, represent lives who have impacted how I think and interact with seemingly common, everyday emotions and experiences. The women have taught me the worth of creating: making space to learn and reflect, establishing a home, forming relationships, and fashioning a positive environment to thrive among unspeakable hardship.
While specific inspiration and concept for each piece varies, my approach remains the same. I begin sketching live models posed in strong, direct lighting and sketching from photographs. I focus on establishing a powerful dark and light contrast creating a convincing three-dimensional figure on a flat surface. I work mostly in oils and prepare my canvas or panel with a layer of either a bright or earthy tone. Then I move into sketching on the prepared canvas or panel with chalk or charcoal, focusing on composition.
To me, the most visually compelling phase is blocking in the form using only dark and light paints, a palette knife, and brushes. After the form is established, I work in layers-- adding and blending colors to create the subtle nuances of facial features, hair textures, and clothing. As I work on the figure, I begin to establish the context to set the figure. The environment often communicates some of the hidden beauty that defines the figure’s inner being. In the final stage of the painting, I scratch through the paint adding visual texture, refining details, and glazing with translucent colors which creates unity. Seeing the combined efforts of my hands and mind—both conscious and unconscious—coming to life on canvas is exhilarating.
And discover the hidden beauty.
Beneath the surface.