My art is a glimpse into the events of our shared time; us and the birds and other fauna of earth. The birds in my work work appear lyrical in placement with meaningful shared movement to draw us in an intended direction. For instance, the relationships between the flying birds in my murmuration-inspired paintings are indicative of real-life connections in both the starling world and our own. My starlings have individual agency, shared agreements and roles, and the omnipresent desire for forward progress; like us.
In my more recent larger configurations at dusk, we see an overall shape for the airborne collectives, ala pointillism and at times an eternally delightful cloud game. There is also an emotional connection with dusk, the time of day that asks that you say goodbye to the wonderful day you may have just lived. Dusk has been a growing and empowering expression in my work. It's the waterworks of the heroes daily journey, the cleansing rain. This ponderance on starlings at that specific time of day can be applied to our own collectives, and can serve as a reminder or just a simple quiet moment for personal contemplation. Starlings share our own traits as community builders and advanced collaborators and as passionate lovers. Their advanced patterns of decision making can be seen in their collective flights to form the shapes we all are familiar with. These works build off the dynamics of starling flight, forming new imagined patterns that reflect upon our shared world.
Creating a gateway in my work for my soul to pass through and heal. In 2020, via a grant for art career mentorship, I was connected with Pakistani-American artist Humaira Abid. Through her guidance I began a journey of searching within to gain an understanding of my mostly transient life; up to that point I had moved 22 times in my 50 years. Why didn't I have permanence anywhere in my world? Is it in my own nature to keep moving around, or am I searching without a proper lens to see the results, thus, never satisfied? In January 2021, just days after we saw our nation attacked from within, my father called to tell me that my younger brother, a gifted musician, had passed away in his sleep from a fentanyl overdose. I was devastated to see him lose his fight with his own demons. He'd fought them wildly and bravely for as long as he could, given his own limited tools and lack of mentorship. In the past I would always bare some of the guilt from his actions. His passing could have set me back to square one of my own development had it not been for me having momentum in the right direction at the time. These works produced in 2021 are what I consider transitional pieces. I am addressing both personal and yet common emotions that we all share. I also wanted to let my imagination grow in the work, and to be less didactic, offering perhaps a new entry point for others to partake in the discussion with me. My intention with these works is to both exorcise the past, as well as power up for the future. Again, these works serve as a gateway for my soul to pass through and heal.
2021 was a tumultuous year, not just for America but for the world at large. The symbol of our nation, the bald eagle, got taken down to the depths in 2020 and didn't seem to come up for air in 2021. The true nature of our country was on display as the pandemic, an attempted insurrection, and numerous man-made disasters all stole the headlines of the year. Painting about these things did not make them go away. It merely served to relieve the pressure.
Seeing a bird from below as it flies, silhouetted against the sky above, is a memorable impression that we adapt to at a very young age. In an attempt to reconnect us with this frequently occurring moment in nature, I've created these paintings as a way to blend our own lives with that of the birds via metaphoric and lyrical representations of shared experiences.
These paintings celebrate diversity by posing a variety of owl species in close proximity to each other on the same canvas, as if in audience of the world outside of their own. The predominate color of the series draws from the indigo hues of late dusk and early dawn when owls are most active.
This series of paintings were inspired by my visits to the town of Marblemount, Washington during the annual bald eagle migration in January. The cold, blustery, and foggy landscape of winter on the upper Skagit River silhouettes the trees and birds in a photographic manner in these works.
If you know anything about roosters, then these paintings...
Since 2018 I have been working full time in my Day Creek studio, and in between the various series I've painted, these individual works stood out to me as well.
My studio days in Seattle were more limited due to maintaining a design job while training for trail running. I was a volunteer in the arts during this time, but more of a fan than maker. It's a break from full time studio work that I am glad I took. The small number of works from this time period vary in concept and content from painting to painting.
Bremerton was where I got my start in the art world. Prior to opening my own gallery in town representing myself and other artists of the area, I was building up my network via creating the Bremerton Art News, which brought together a variety of art practices and helped market the downtown arts district. My focus at the time was depicting starlings as stand-ins for humanity. This is also when the Eternal Counting series was started during the Iraq war.
Ballard was where I had my first post-collegiate studio. It was here that I discovered my love for birds in my art and began to focus on them solely while drawing and painting.