I use animal imagery because it gives me a way to explore and distill the impact humans are having on the planet. Each encounter with nature gives me an untold appreciation for the interdependence of species. Wildlife, especially large mammals, is endlessly fascinating to observe. However, what moves me to use them as subject matter is a recognition that like the wildebeest, we may be standing unawares at the precipice of collapse. The paintings in the current body of work, Bone Dry Silence, juxtapose that moment before and after in scenarios that refer to a perpetual drought caused by climate warming.
I typically begin drawing and painting from life and photographic images taken while exploring natural habitats. After months of experimenting in the studio, patterns evolve, thoughts turn inward, and facts recede to the background while memory and imagination take over. This back and forth play between knowing and not knowing creates many opportunities for discovery. Over time, objects slowly reveal themselves in relation to the landscape through texture, color and form.
A rigid support enables me to vigorously activate the surface, adding, subtracting, scraping, wiping and ultimately building many layers of paint. Since I work on several pieces at once and over a long period of time, the paintings not only inform each other, but those that follow.