PAINTINGS

 

        My paintings generally fall into two categories: narrative images that use (mostly) Animals to suggest stories and allude to symbolic relationships, and Landscape images that focus more obviously on formal and painterly concerns while serving as a record of dwelling in and traveling through various locales in the U.S. and abroad.  Click on an image above to see more paintings in each category, or scroll down to read a bit more about why artworks are/ought to be more than either just pretty bits of decoration or platforms for personal expression.

 

“Whatever is conveyed by and impressed upon our senses is that which will be best represented in our minds; and since sight is the sharpest sense of all, even what we hear with our ears or think in our thoughts is best held in our minds if conveyed to our memory through the mediation of the eyes.  Therefore, things we cannot actually see can still be mentally marked by form or figure or image, and we can possess as if by seeing what we could otherwise hardly imagine. Yet—just as with everything that falls under our gaze—these forms or images must have a home, for indeed we can hardly conceive of an object without it being in a place.

                            —Cicero, De Oratore, II. lxxxvii, 357-358.



        As is suggested by the excerpt above, paintings and other tangible works of art retain an unparalleled power to help fix and recall personal, family, and cultural identity. Especially in a society marked by endless and easy reproduction of ephemeral images, the power of visible signs to ground abstract ideas and memory is most powerful when the signs are, themselves, both concrete and grounded in the physical context of daily life: the spaces in which it is lived.  While the most familiar instance of this dynamic occurs in the display of small paintings in the home, artworks in commercial locations and (classically) in sacred spaces can also contribute to a rich ecology of signs for those who work or worship there.  In each case, however, the richness of meaning pertaining to the work of art is only fully realized as a collaboration between the artist and those who “make it their own” on an on-going basis.  Though some artists ascribe to an ideal of remaining aloof from such negotiation and claim either to be the sole source of meaning or, conversely, disavow any interest in this process of signification once the painting leaves the studio or gallery, a goal of my creative practice is to live out and encourage in others an integrated understanding of how artworks both shape and are shaped by the flows of meaning that swirl in specific local settings.  That goal translates into a dual commitment: to make paintings scaled for and shown in intimate spaces as well as public ones, and to speak for and about the importance of re-integrating artworks and artists into the culture in which they are called to serve.