INTENTION: Jean-Francois Millet said, “It is the treating of the commonplace with the feelings of the sublime that gives to art its true power.” In my still life paintings, I endeavor to establish a sublime visual space by borrowing from the lavish beauty found in common, natural objects. Designed to isolate and highlight that beauty, the paintings invite the viewer into a still, rich space. I also often aim to draw attention to vastness within smallness, the visual equivalent of putting one’s ear to a seashell to hear the sounds of the grand and complex ocean from which it came. In nature, the Divine design is profoundly apparent: “For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see His invisible qualities - His eternal power and divine nature…” Romans 1:20
(Left: shells as inspiration for painting)
INSPIRATION: In 2003 I began to experience a shift in the subject matter in my painting. It was that year that I visited an exhibition at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC titled “Small Wonders - Dutch Still Lifes by Adriaen Coorte.” A stunningly beautiful show, it was among several significant influences which I pondered and which eventually tilted my new painting direction towards still life. In addition to my response to the life-affirming force of beauty, I was drawn to the quiet, contemplative tone often present in still life. I am inspired by master artists such as Luis Melendez and Juan Sanchez Cotan as well as many contemporary realist painters including Jeffrey Ripple, Jeffrey T. Larson and Scott Fraser.
(Left: painting by Adriaen Coorte - “Pickled Asparagus”)
PROCESS: I paint with oil paint, most commonly on sanded, gessoed wood panels. To begin each piece, I arrange natural objects in a dramatically lit space, often using a shadowbox or other contained, interior space. I draw and photograph the composition and throughout the painting process, use the original objects as reference, or in the case of perishable items, their replacements. I employ a traditional painting approach, beginning with monochromatic underlayers and progressing to multiple layers of color. Ample drying time is allowed between all layers and the painting is finished with a clear varnish.
HISTORY: Though painting in one form or another since an early age, my formal studies began as an undergraduate at Furman University, continued at Virginia Commonwealth University and Limestone College where I received my BA degree in Art. I am a member of The International Guild of Realism, have exhibited in both group and solo shows and have paintings in a number of private collections within the United States. I reside with my family near Washington, DC.