ARTIST STATEMENT

Since 2009, the focus of my work has been exploring the lives of circus performers. I draw inspiration from my personal experience traveling with circus, clown, and sideshow troupes on the West Coast of the US as a soundtrack violinist in 2007, and recent excursions with performance artists. I choose the temporary moments where people are unaware of the time or space they occupy as my subject matter, thus glorifying the daily routine activities that are deemed mundane or tedious. The aesthetic or "look" of my work combines elements of Impressionistic painting with Cinematic Noir composition and lighting. Sometimes my work involves photo references, when I want to capture a person’s expression or a specific time of the day and when I want to capture elements that are ever-changing and cannot be consistent over the course of several painting sessions. In this case, my practice in the studio begins with a photography session, which I produce and direct with a volunteer who plays a character in the scene that I am creating. I take photos with a disposable camera; this captures the basic information, but leaves room for invention of color and detail in the painting process. Sometimes my work involves painting from life, when I want to capture the atmosphere of a place. I feel I need to be in the place in order to paint my impression of it. I paint with acrylics and oils on canvas, depending on whether the image and atmosphere demand layers of texture or a wet-worked single layer. Usually, I paint with acrylics when working from photo references and with oils when working from life -- the wetness of the oils mirrors the inconstant and malleable nature of the live setting or model, and allows me to push paint around on my wet canvas as the environment changes in real time. The underpainting is a very important part of the process. I work with the underpainting, as opposed to working over it. I allow for the underpainting to come through the painting, like moss that grows between bricks in a wall. The paint never covers the canvas completely, edge-to-edge, and the underpainting also comes through in between objects and figures to separate them and give the feeling of a moment that is temporary: something that is either slowly revealing itself or fading away. My intention for painting this way is to remind the viewer of the labor of the painting process, to impart a sense of my love for this process, and to achieve a sense of transience and mortality. I want to show how I feel about my subjects in the way they are painted. I seek to express the attitudes of the characters or environments I paint in my mark-making and pallet. Color and texture can evoke emotion strongly, sometimes more so than a painted facial expression, and can be interpreted differently by individuals based on their associations. My hope is that my paintings will produce emotions that are associated with nostalgia, mystery, labor, and refuge -- experiences that highly individual but are commonly shared.




 






























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