Artist Statement

I make art because I find it easiest to express myself and communicate visually. I have something to say and have finally allowed myself the freedom, and found the means, to say it.

From an early age, I was taught the serious nature of capturing realism. I studied the classical techniques and traditions of old masters and was determined to learn the recipes and strict painting rules handed down over the centuries. The movement and response of light to reflective and textured objects inspire my paintings. I paint the objects directly from life under natural light. In keeping with traditional painting tools, I paint on canvas or wooden panels layered with Venetian plaster using a limited palette of acrylic and oil paints.  I have always liked adding Celtic, Spanish, Gothic, or other ornamentations to my paintings to break up space.

Over time, it became apparent to me that an artist should also take part in the art of their own place and time. I became eager to draw upon my personal experience as a painter in the contemporary urban southwest. I have lived in Phoenix for over 15 years, often admiring graffiti during my drives through the city. I found myself envious of the excitement a graffiti writer must feel while anonymously leaving their mark. I wondered what these unknown taggers would think, and do, if I were to leave my mark on a wall, in the form of a daintily painted teapot. It occurred to me that my mark would remain intact, likely further enhanced by additions made by other taggers. In my imagination, I created the makings of a harmless, artistic war on the walls that I now represent in my paintings. In graffiti, I found the rebellion, mischief, and urban vibe that best represent my place and time.

My current work is a series of narratives juxtaposing classical still life with urban street art. I create unique paintings that combine the quiet stillness of atmospheric realism with the quick, gestural lines of graffiti writing. In this series, I am a storyteller recreating a scenario where a graffiti artist and a still life artist unknowingly share wall space in an urban environment. So as never to meet, the two artists alternate nights—each anonymously tagging and painting in the dark of night. The two artists share a purely visual communication, each contributing to the whole of the painting.  Both artists eventually speak the same visual language. They paint as one.