Painting for me is an adventure full of challenges on my path of self realization. Each image is presented as an emotional vision that luminates from my heart. I find an innate beauty in things that are temporal and unaffected. I use my artwork to create a mood and to tell part of a story. The viewer is allowed to expand and weave an interpretive cumulative response.
A watercolor artist at heart, I now work entirely with acrylics on canvas. I use medium mixed with acrylic paint to achive the transluncency of working with oil paints. I use a classical procedure of applying thin layers of paint to build up a rich quality fleshtone. Without a preliminary sketch, I start by painting a momochromatic image. Each of the three colors that I use consists of four to twelve layers. Some of the deepest shadows are created using as many as 32 layers. I have porposely eliminated the final lightening of the fleshtones with thin layers of gray/white. I think the rich vibrant colors give the figure a glow of livelihood. The figure is seemingly caught in a spotlight coming out darkness in the presence of their maker. I like to work large, filling or overflowing the canvas. I don't attempt perfection in my artwork but rather relish the happy accidents. I use a looser brushstroke to create a representation of clothing, paying attention to the little details.
My current series of paintings is entitled "Human Condition". I have been mentally constructing and repressing this series of painting for some time. I grew up in Northern Illinois, near Chicago. I am the youngest of seven children. Both of my parents are from Oklahoma farming families. I was raised in a strict Baptist household. I was artisticaly influenced by my family and our Cherokee heritage. I have illustrated many portraits and female figures. However, I felt repressed as a gay man to explore the male figure through my artwork. The first painting in this series took me only 6 hours to complete. It was as if it burst out of me onto the canvas. With each painting in this series I have been able to expand and develop new skills that have become instrumental in the following paintings. In the first painting "21st Century," I chose a simple composition and used the layering process. In the second image "Inside," I ventured deep into the dark shadows in order to establish how dark is dark. In each painting after that I added to the composition and subject. In the painting "Match," I construsted a composition using the figures and dark corners to trap the viewers eye within the painting. My objective with each painting is to connect with the viewer on the simpliest level. "That could be me", "That's my favorate area of the male body" or "I am beautiful".