I strive to find that moment where the subject might just come down off the wall and engage you in conversation.
My work brings together artists, writers, curators, poets, designers, and performers, all of whom I have crossed paths with, however briefly. Each subject is either someone I have worked with, shared a podium with or experienced the inspiration of their art. All are well known, though not necessarily a household name. All excel in their field and are creative and intriguing. I hope to capture that spirit and at the same time inspire the viewer to get to know the subject and their art a little better. The intent is to bring the person into the room. I want the viewer to feel the presence of the subject and to instill in the viewer the desire to engage the person in conversation, or merely to occupy the same space for a while.
My process leads me to engage the person I wish to paint and gain their agreement to pose.* Upon their agreement to “sit,” I take a series of photographs, with a concept in mind. Whether the subject was chosen because of their vision or their personality, my intent is to capture the subject’s personality and create a sense of presence, i.e., that they are present in the room. I strive to find that moment where the subject might just come down off the wall and engage you in conversation.
I have drawn and painted from the time I was able to pick up a crayon. As I matured as a painter, I was drawn to abstraction – hard-edged realistic works – and then moved toward figurative subjects to portray the people and things in my life. Working initially in acrylic and then in oil, in an attempt to both capture the personality of the subject and, in turn, reveal my own, I became a figurative painter with an emphasis on the portrait.
Meals, flowers, and portraits are all subjects that are close to my heart and with which I entertain a close relationship in my practice as a painter. I often set out to capture, with lush images, my life as it is shared with my partner. The work is intimate and personal and often about bounty and the desire for love, good times, and abundance.
*The exception to this process is the portrait of Elizabeth Murray. Conceived after her death, I reached out to her husband for his blessing. I worked from photographs of Elizabeth taken by photographer Michael Kamber, combined with a strong memory of her presence.