Making art is like any other professional endeavor. It evolves over time through experimentation, investigation, trial and error and encouragement from mentors.
I grew up in Kansas with a family of mentors, with adults who demonstrated life-long learning. My parents gave me confidence to trust my own instincts and supported me through my under graduate years at Boston University. At the
B. U., School of Fine Arts, I had very traditional training in representational art, drawing from the figure every day, keeping sketchbooks, investigating materials and methods, and studying art history and theory. This structured study helped me to develop my craft. It gave me the skills and confidence that are needed to work in the solitude of an art studio.
These paintings are research and investigations into ideas about desire, duty, and nature. Through this research, I gain insight into my experiences. I call the style of my work "metaphorical representation". The content is expressed through metaphor, using motifs that have meaning. The meanings originate from the cultures and history of places I have lived and my experiences. Recurring motifs include water, human figures, plains topography, arrows, ropes, ladders, houses and the sky.
When one connects with a piece of art, it is because the themes and motifs in that piece are held in common between the artist and the viewer.
The connection is like a connection with a piece of music. We know when we like a piece of music, rarely do we ask “what does it mean?” We know that because we like it, it means something to us. Visual art has that same elusive and sometimes frustrating quality of ambiguity of meaning. My recommendation is that if you like a piece of art, just like it. Of course it never hurts to ask what it means, but that is not a requirement for enjoying or appreciating the art.
I currently, live and work in my studio on Vashon Island.