I often abstract known subjects such as landscapes, machinery and graphic images—exploring ideas and emotions with paint rather than rendering the subjects specifically. I start with a sketch but the painting quickly becomes about emotion, paint, freedom, line, composition and layers. Layers are very important to my work, I often paint or draw things I know will get covered later, I like the tension of knowing something is underneath but you can’t know it fully. The viewer brings their own story to a painting they can make their own guesses or bring their own meanings to what is under layers of paint. My paintings are about being human, expressed through the paint, my paintings are also about the paint itself; rough, fast, busy, quiet, thoughtful, hidden or in your face. Paint is freedom and humanity to me.
When working on a piece I am always changing it—putting on paint, taking off paint, I have to keep giving myself challenges and problems to solve. The problems can be a strange color or a composition that does not seem to work at first, then I work and re-work. I am fascinated with composition, line and color because they can express so much, I am always refining, changing and creating as I work my way through a piece.
I am influenced by a wide range of subjects; the northwest landscape, old barns, old signs, typography, the desert, printed ephemera and vintage textiles. I have been a graphic designer for nearly 20 years, painting seriously for more than 10, some of my work presents a convergence of painting and graphic art. The principles of design are important to my work and typography is irresistible, but for me painting is truth, humanity, and most of all freedom.