My present love of watercolor has given me many additional challenges. I was drawn to this medium with its reputation of difficulty and was determined to master it. The techniques necessary were only the first challenge. It led me to exploration into materials, color, and style. I have experimented with different papers, brushes and equipment. Research into pigments has led me to limit my palette to a simple triad of transparent colors. Using these three colors helped me focus on learning how color works, the best way to use it and how far I can take it. I have worked in realism, impressionism and abstraction. I would love to say that I have mastered watercolor, but everyday I find myself investigating new techniques and styles; making it clear with every new challenge, that mastery will remain a never ending pursuit.
The intent of my work is to capture a moment and tell a story. My fascination with people has given me countless ideas for art. I connect with the person, place or thing I am painting so as to express my emotional response to the subject. I feel that painting strictly by fundamentals alone is fine for creating something visually recognizable; however, my goal is to capture every aspect of my subject, seen and unseen. The ideal is to have the viewer sense the same connection. In my commissioned portraits, which I like to call “lifestyle” portraits, I want to tell something about the person; what they wear, do and love; something an “Olan Mills” photograph cannot do.
It has been a life’s work devoted to the study and analysis of the whole artistic process, including composition, design, color theory and techniques. I will always be learning new things about what I do, because I not only need to know how, but why.
One of my greatest pleasures is being able to give back what I have been given. My teaching philosophy is to share all that I have learned. My experience in teaching has highlighted the fact that many students do not know the fundamentals. I teach only what I use as a working artist, so I stress these basics. The most successful thing I teach, I believe, is how to see. I direct my students to see what is in front of them, the abstract elements, not what they think they see. My hope is that I teach as I would like to be taught, sharing the complete artistic journey.
My journey as an artist has taken me to some wonderful places and has granted me many rewards. Throughout this journey I have been challenged and will continue to challenge myself, share what I know, and progress to the next step.
I will give a step-by-step overview on how I produce trompe l'oeil painting. As part of the demonstration I will be painting the scotch on to my Trompe l’oeil and give a small demonstration on how I build my backgrounds up.
As a contemporary realist painter I use modern composition aesthetics, but I paint in a classical painting technique. Each of my paintings features an extreme attention to detail, especially with regards to the way light interacts with an object or surface. Painting provides me the opportunity to better understand the relationship of light with varying surfaces, and it helps convey my sense of wonder and intrigue. I recognize the value of craft in my painting and continually work to improve my technique and style. In my most recent work, I juxtapose objects from my youth with contemporary objects to provide a unique vision or viewpoint.
I depend upon the classical traditions of realism tracing back to the Renaissance masters I am especially inspired by Caravaggio and Vermeer. By adding rich, vibrant colors to this traditional structure, I enhance my paintings’ emotional impact. My interest in color is inspired by the paintings of Claudio Bravo and Scott Fraser.
My passion for painting began when I was very young. I took private lessons in high school and got a BFA in Graphic Design from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Later as an adult, I went to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston for painting. I am an active member of Washington, D.C.’s artistic community; my work has been shown at Gallery West, Spectrum Gallery, and Light Street Gallery.