Artist Statement

Bovine Series: Connect-Disconnect

These works explore the strength, energy and connections between beings or within themselves. The bull and cow, with symbolic references to power, determination, physical strength, stability and confidence, are central to their themes. It also brings us back to our roots. I observed these creatures up close, getting to know the
connections they made with each other and observed the strengths they showed within themselves. The images used are a jumping off point for the viewer, and me as the painter, to venture off into imagination and invention. They offer a journey where the image invokes a sense of place, of who we are or of what we feel.

Beyond the journey invoked by the imagery, the experience of the painted surface is being explored. Exploration of objects overlapping, or of the spaces between them, are integral in the relationships. Lines and shapes of the image are often extended out into its surroundings, making the image a part of the whole. Pulling out these lines may be just simplifying the image down to an abstracted shape or pulling out these forms for emphasis.

A large influence on my work are the abstract representational works of Richard Diebenkorn, the gestural abstractions of Willem de Kooning and the earlier abstract works of Philip Guston. I think it’s important to pull energy out of a painting and work the paint until I come to a point where I feel it’s succeeding in making relationships within the painted elements and in creating a relationship between the viewer and the painting.

The Butterfly Trail

These works are inspired by the Monarch butterfly migration, which I witnessed one year while on the coast of North Carolina. The shear numbers and beauty of these insects made it impossible to ignore and and I began thinking about the incredible journey they take every year. What a metaphor for freedom, growth or movement to the next phase in life, and perseverance. The butterfly has historically symbolized transformation and change, a symbol of the soul, and joy.

But they are being threatened by loss of habitat and food source by pesticides, urbanization, logging and herbicides. So not only do my paintings represent some of the symbolism of the butterfly, they also address the plight the Monarchs are facing in today’s age.

In these paintings I have deconstructed the images to find the essence of the butterflies. Lines and shapes of the image are often extended out into its surroundings, making the image a part of the whole. Shapes from the image may be broken apart or simplified in order to achieve the feeling or message I’m trying to speak to.

 

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