Since my earliest years in painting, I have found the most enjoyment in painting portraits. I find people endlessly fascinating, and in my portraits I try to bring out that which makes them unique, and human. From time to time I paint a study of another subject - still life, landscape, wildlife - but it is portraiture to which I return again and again.
My biggest influence in portraiture is Robert Henri. Henri believed in painting the people of one's region, and I have followed him in that: most of my paintings take characters of the American Southwest for inspiration, some of them still living traditional lifestyles. My ultimate goal is to paint the characters from my region, but to give them all the dignity of a Renaissance or Baroque portrait of aristocracy.
Henri also believed in completing a painting as quickly as possible, prizing spontaneity and freshness of brushwork above other considerations; and here, again, I try to follow him. Some of my other influences in portraiture include Velasquez (whom Henri also revered), Rembrandt, Vermeer, Degas, and Renoir.
In keeping with my preference for painting traditional peoples, I use primarily traditional materials in my art. Earth colors and lead white make up over 90% of my working palette, as I believe they did for many artists of past centuries. I use no special medium, but as far as possible only oil and pigment, and simple bristle brushes on canvas or panel - this gives me, I feel, the greatest connection with my materials and with the image I am attempting to create.
Savannah College of Art and Design
Master of Arts, 2008
University of California, Santa Barbara
Bachelor of Arts, 1997