Art is the ultimate expression for me, because meaning often gets lost or changed with words. But by using color, line, and composition to express feeling, art needs no words. I paint to produce a feeling -- a thought or an expression -- and to celebrate a shared human experience. My subject matter is primarily wildlife and occasionally figurative, and it changes according to the message being expressed. But it is how the subject matters are depicted that is most important to me.
I explore how meaning is created with my painting, specifically through the visual experience of art. I leave gaps and spaces, I use colors that are considered unrealistic but that create emotion, and I throw in lines whose only purpose is to build a feeling. It is then up to the viewer to fill in those gaps. My paintings are meant to boost and cheer the human spirit, to give strength, and to provide resilience and inspiration. I’m most pleased when a viewer has a strong reaction to a piece, even if that person can’t explain why.
I have always felt a strong connection with the landscapes and skies of Montana. Many times I have turned towards them and found comfort, solace and inspiration. Knowing that this wild world grows, lives and moves around us frees me to focus on those things I find truly important- and to bring them forth in my art through shared western themes. I love our nature, I love our wildlife, and I love our tough people.
I paint with oil and acrylic because they are so versatile. When I start a painting, I keep my energy high, my sketches quick, and my first layers of paint expressive and raw to keep the emotion alive. I then refine the piece, working with color and line to find a balance between abstraction and representation. Often, towards the end, I return to quick, expressionist marks to build the energy of the piece. I want to push the abstraction and energy of a piece of art while still having it represent something tangible in our world and in our culture. The art that most inspires me are the incredible renderings of the Renaissance masters and the experimental art of modern masters, both of which I aim to blend into my paintings.