I’ve been a full-time artist for almost thirty years. I am a painter and printmaker and I have a BFA in painting from the University of Illinois and an MFA in illustration from the Savannah College of Art and Design. I made the decision to become an artist when several of my drawings and paintings won awards at the Scholastic Art Competition when I was in high school. One of my paintings won the Best of Show award and was placed in the front window of our most prominent downtown department store. I was only eighteen and had never known an artist or had any idea about how artists made a living but I decided I wanted to be one. So I chose painting as my major at the University of Illinois the following year.
I approach my painting compositions in a very intuitive way, letting them evolve as I work on them. The only part of my abstract paintings that I plan is the size. While I’m painting, I mostly think about the interplay of colors, the direction of the marks, and try to find different ways to apply the paint. I like to work on large canvases most of the time, or oversized heavy printmaking paper.
My prints are much smaller by nature. And they are seldom abstract. I usually portray simple images with interesting textures or patterns. I find that subjects from the plant and animal world lend themselves well to the linocut process. The carving marks are organic and bring the image to life.
During my career I’ve worked in different styles and mediums but there lots of common elements that seems to always be prominent in my work. I have a keen interest in repeating patterns and the rhythm and movement they bring to a composition. I am also very aware of the role that texture plays in my art, whether it is the actual texture of the surface or the implied texture of the marks.
Sometimes I bring both aspects of my studio business, the painting and the printmaking, together in the same piece of art. Many of my recent paintings combine these two mediums. I create a textured background painting and then layer abstract linocut images on top of it by collaging them to the surface. The result has a unique character that I haven’t been able to achieve any other way.