“I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority.” -E.B. White
The land has always held my attention as an inspiring element. In my work, I strive to show the process of the land and its interconnection with man’s influence. We have all contributed to the landscapes of today. We have over-processed, over-worked, and drained our resources. Today’s natural world bares the marks of years of punishment and use; many of which are unseen.
Contrast and juxtaposition are key elements in my work. The way we attempt to integrate our humanity into nature creates a certain disparity and tension. To capture this feeling, I combine impasto paint quality, heightened color, and scraffito. I use these painting elements to abstract and flatten areas of the land, sacrificing the carefully constructed landscape. This is done to emphasize the way foreign elements conflict with the natural ecosystem that surrounds us. The use of heightened hues and layer-patterned grounds represent what is beneath the surface. We bury our trash, our own waste, our dead, and all other toxins that contaminate the soil. The air around us has suffered similar neglect.
The abused atmosphere is represented with scraffito marks in the skies of my paintings. Some of these marks are chaotic lines, representing the many artificial elements that stream through our skies everyday with a constant motion and sound: electricity, phone lines, the internet, car, jet and factory emissions. Not only do these elements have an effect on the air quality, the sounds they produce are also a focal point in my work. Many of my landscapes may seem quite serene when in actuality they are referenced from places of tremendous unrest: the side of the expressway, the long lots next to an airport, or a busy urban street at rush hour. I believe a truly realistic portrayal of these landscapes would include a visual representation of the auditory disturbance we take for granted. This to me seems a much more realistic portrayal of the scene than falsely representing the landscape in a more peaceful manner.
Formally, my paintings are abstract representational works. I am attempting to narrow the gap between traditional representational art and abstraction, coaching the viewer to understand the painting process and to appreciate different styles of art. All of my work is done with oil paint on a stretched and sealed canvas. After sealing the canvas, I apply my ground color (Burnt Sienna) to the surface. I then proceed with my under-painting and my final layers. My paintings are ala-prima (one session), so I am always working with wet-on-wet paint giving me freedom to move and manipulate the medium.
My inspirations stretch from traditional painters like William Turner, Édouard Manet, Camille Pissarro, and Edward Hopper to non-traditional artists such as Egon Schiele, Giorgio De Chirico, Andy Goldsworthy and Christo & Jeanne Claude. I am constantly inspired by their diverse use of color and their unique perspectives on how the land may be perceived.