7mth

A short interview and #studiovisit for @elloart :

What is your art about?
I’m not sure I’m the best person to ask about that! My background is in art history as well as painting, and that lifelong fascination with the language of Western Art—and particularly Northern Renaissance and Dutch secular painting—has shaped the way I communicate. My work tends toward storytelling, and I try to use the symbolic imagery and genres found in European art to communicate my own experience, and to call in to question how we look at our shared visual ancestry. Almost every image in our culture has its symbolic roots deep in that soil, and yet most of us don’t know what the underlying meaning of those images are when we stroll through an art museum.

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"Green" | 24" x 24" | acrylic & oil on wood panel

What inspires you to create?
Nothing fires my imagination like a visit to a museum: the variety of ways artists have interpreted themes and subjects is both inspiring and reinforces the sense that we all stand on the shoulders of the past. Expressing my own experience and perspectives on the world through the common language of art history is what drives me.

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How did you arrive at your technique?
Well, I certainly have a way of working I’m comfortable with, but I think experimentation is important to growth. I’m fascinated by Old Master techniques and everything related to craftsmanship in its most basic form, so that leaves an ocean of skills yet to be acquired.

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"Sepulchre" | 11.125" x 11.125" | acrylic & oil on wood panel

What are you most proud of achieving as an artist?
That for my entire adult life I’ve made my living as an artist—no side jobs, no compromises. I owe it to my parents that I was never urged to “do something practical”, so by the time I left college I had no other option than to find a way to paint and draw for a living; I really had no other skills to offer. Embracing the uncertainty is a big factor in surviving as an artist, and that trait more than any other has allowed me to live what’s turned out to be a great life in art.

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What's a fun fact about you that the public wouldn't know?
I’m an economics nerd. Not that I know that much, but I find the subject both fascinating and deeply revealing of human motivations. It’s where math and psychology meet and plan the future.

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"Fable" | 9" x 7.18" | acrylic & oil on wood panel

What's next?
Keep moving. I’ve learned over the years to put one foot in front of the other and follow my instincts. A career as an artist is a long, hard journey with the occasional majestic view; you have to learn to savor those moments but not let them sidetrack you from the path.

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