What gives you inspiration or motivates you to create art?
I’m always excited by the idea that as an artist, I can create an image that has never been seen before and is unique to the world. Sharing it with the world is such a gratifying experience.
Tell me what your are working on now? What is the title?
I’m currently working on a painting called “Space Cowboy.” It’s a round painting with a blue hyperrealistic, plastic toy cowboy holding his guns up to the sky. The background is a set in a comic book-style backdrop with purple mountains, ominous billowing smoke and twinkling stars. I like the idea of dropping toys and figurines into these comic book-infused worlds.
What music do you listen to while painting or creating?
I love listening to repetitive electronic music that drones on in the background. I don’t have to concentrate on lyrics or instruments - I can just concentrate on the driving beat. It sets a pace and keeps the momentum up.
How do you describe your work/style? What themes do you pursue?
I’m currently really interested in the idea of “make- believe.” I like painting the fantasies that I dream up in my head. These fantasies are the result of my love of toys, comic books, and sci-fi/fantasy movies. The paintings’ world are inhabited by toys, tchotchkes, and figurines that have come to life as if activated by a child’s imagination.
What do you hope others see in your work?
I want people to get a sense of wonder out of the work. I want them to be transported to these magical and mystical worlds I create.
What is your favorite piece of work that you have created?
I’m fond of a recent painting I painted last year called “Paradise Lost.” It tells an Atlantis-inspired story of the destruction of paradise. An island home to birds and winged creatures is sinking into lava and is being destroyed by a comet. A big glorious unicorn swoops in and tries to save the island. It’s a pretty bright and colorful painting. The painting itself was inspired by the illustrations of Lisa Frank and other illustrations from the 80s.
Favorite or most inspirational place?
When I was still living in Georgia for graduate school my most coveted place for inspiration came from nature. After a long day of painting and teaching I would wander out to the river and streams that ran behind our house. I would just walk up and down the banks to regroup and recharge. Listening to the water flowing was meditative. It was where I spent time thinking through ideas for new paintings.
What’s on your walls?
Too many unfinished paintings!
What do you love most about being an artist?
They say that if you love what you do, you’ll never have to work a day in your life. And that’s how I feel about being an artist. It’s an incredibly rewarding occupation - getting to paint pictures for a living.