My paintings are often begun without my conscious knowledge; automatic
painting occurs in the eye of my mind. At times, I can see a painting
fully rendered in my head before a single stroke has been committed.
Other times, paintings begin in a cacophony of intense sounds and
smells, the pulse of feelings, or the rush of a memory. These sensory
stimuli often eclipse common sense and overwhelm me with a sense of
urgency to make. This rush to make, this need to paint images out of
my head, often spills out awkwardly. And that lovely awkwardness, the
growth struggle and effort of trying to make something that does not
exist more honest, more real, more perfect than anything that has ever
existed, is what makes painting so beautiful and necessary to me.
I find painting portraits to be endlessly inspirational, a
collaboration of fresh vibrant possibilities. When I compose a
portrait painting, my objective is to make a visual study of
interconnections. This interconnected visual study is a dot-to-dot of
supporting imagery from which my main subject can emerge. It is
intended to further support the literal and metaphoric language of the
portrait narrative. My work often has cultural and religious
overtones, intentionally taken the wrong way and conscientious of the
hypocrisies that my narratives create. I negotiate, balance, and
exploit that awkwardness, with my intuition for the irrational and my
love for the painterliness of the paint. This push and pull, this
lovely awkwardness, and struggle for honesty, is all for the
possibility of understanding who a person is or was or could be.
My formal interests include the absurdity axiom and hard collage lines
of Dadaism with contemporary Pop Pluralism's lowbrow Surrealism and
macabre humor. I base my work in the Old Masters tradition of
portrait painting, as taught to me by mentor, Harry Ahn. I prefer live
modeling my subjects and photographing them for more realistic
portraiture. I enjoy experimenting with the chemistry of oil paints,
as reflected in my backgrounds and finishes. My paintings are
finished with a combination of lacquer, aging glazes, and controlled
crackling techniques to produce a distinctive crackle patina.