ARTIST'S STATEMENT


Artist's Statement

I am fascinated with the human face and form. From a very early age, I was more interested in drawing and sculpting people than any other subject.

Art is my primary method of allowing my subconscious to enter into my consciousness. I use a shared visual vocabulary of composition and narrative to express those various thoughts and feelings. My primary goal, when creating, is to emotionally engage the viewer and encourage them to connect with my work – to extract their own emotional meaning from the visual I present to them as well as ask questions about what they see.

The human face, human relationships, and ancient symbols are a recurring theme in my sculpture. I use sculpture to express relationships between humans, each to the other, and between humans and the larger social context.

As a painter, I am strongly drawn to portraiture and often seek to challenge traditional portrait paradigms to examine the connection that humans have with and to one another. Through my portrait work, I explore the larger contextual issues of identity through presentation as an element of social life. Portraiture requires dialog and social connection between myself and my subject in order for me to create a faithful rendering. By close observation and engagement of the subject and the use of representation of the human figure, I seek to tap into the broadly tuned awareness that most humans have for faces. This instinctively shared immediacy of the visual created by human faces expresses emotion without having to first create a shared symbology. In this way, I attempt to capture the authentic and unique self of my subjects without any superfluousness. When I first meet a subject, I begin by looking at the subject and asking myself what is the essential form and color that defines that person. I then ask the subject what their favorite color is and begin to compose using this initial information.

My process is a synthesis of traditional and modern oil painting techniques; I start with the background and paint 'forward' to the figure. I start with a turpentine and oil paint wash, sketching in the likeness so that it becomes a road map for successive layers of color. Once this map is fixed, I move to a more modern alla prima style, using the under-painting as a foundation.

As an emergent artist, I am also currently exploring how value adds to the expressiveness of a work. I am attracted to the work of Edward Hopper for this reason. His use of light as well as color to create expressiveness is something I seek to pull into my work.