Before the age of thirty-one, I was a trained economist with little exposure to art. My artistic practice was limited to drawing stick figures and nearly flunking my junior high art class. In 1991, I took a drawing and painting class from a local community college and was immediately captivated. I became obsessed with art and my conversion from economist to full time artist followed shortly thereafter.
Cezanne, Matisse and Diebenkorn's mastery of composition and color were my earliest influences. Among contemporary artists, Amy Sillman has also been particularly inspirational with her innovative composition and color in combination with an added dose of humor. I have also been intrigued by Sillman’s experiments in printmaking and animation and how they have influenced her paintings.
My paintings involve a variety of media including oil paint, acrylic, pencil, yarn, watercolor, metro tickets and drywall tape. I work in a series of layers, with each layer contributing depth and texture. A first layer might involve torn maps collaged onto a clay board surface. I will then paint and draw on the surface leaving some of the maps visible. The next step might be covering the painting with gestural figure drawings in pencil from short poses with a live model. Other times I will draw or stencil in abstract shapes in pencil. Next I paint or collage over these drawings, leaving parts of the under drawing exposed. I then repeat the drawing and painting process for several more layers.
My work combines exuberant improvisation with a very disciplined analytic approach, the latter courtesy of the economist side of my brain. I like contrasting the precision of using stencils with the loose gestural marks of blind contour drawing. In addition to painting and drawing, I also experiment with animation and various forms of printmaking. Exploring other media gives me a different perspective and new ideas that infiltrate my paintings. I have developed a continually evolving idiosyncratic style with layers of color and distinctive calligraphic lines.