As an artist, I am trying to become a more expressive and impressionistic painter. My early training in art was about doing quite realistic, sometimes photographic scenic work and backdrops for TV, movies, theme parks, etc. That time was also about getting the job done as efficiently as possible. Those concepts have stuck with me, and it is an ongoing challenge and focus of mine now to experiment, stretch the boundaries, play a little – which can be hard for me! – and paint for paintings sake. I hope my work is becoming more artistic, and not just good representation. My goal would be that that becomes more evident as time goes on.
Having lived most of my life in the rural west, my focus in art tends to be about place – about natural landscapes, and about the people and animals who have lived close to this wild land over time. Of course I enjoy other places, but I know that my passion is tied to the wide open and the circle of life that becomes evident when you get away from the city.
Home to me is The Y Worry Ranch on the high plains of Montana, an hour east of the Continental Divide. Our closest two legged neighbors are a mile away. My soul is rooted in this place and in the high mountain country west of here where we lived previously. I will always be captivated by our expanse of sky or the power of our summer storms. I appreciate and am sometimes humbled by the journey the seasons require of us here. It is good to know my place in the natural world.
I am interested in the history of the West. Traces of stories past are still visible in this sparsely populated region, and they become food for thought. I have affinity for the wildlife and the people whose lives have been shaped in this big landscape over time. I enjoy painting them all – the animals and the strong spirited, resilient people you seldom hear about as their lives are not the glamorous ones.
Growing up, my significant Father figure was a Diegueno Mission Indian, my Mother’s partner, who educated me to a degree about the art and customs of some of the Native peoples, and about their reverence for the land and nature. I’m sure that experience contributed to my having an awareness and appreciation of those things today. I am since captivated by the Native American celebration of life as expressed in their traditional clothing and various art forms, and by their emotional and spiritual connection to the natural world.
It is these things that have shaped me. It is to these things I am drawn as an artist, and to the many stories.