Originally motivated to express the simplicity and fullness of my childhood landscape in New England, I developed a reverence for the skills of the Hudson River School painters who brought oil painting into the outdoors, conveying unparalleled quantities of space on canvas. This admiration drew me to study traditional oil painting techniques at the Grand Central Academy, where for four years I studied full-time with a group of contemporary realist painters led by Jacob Collins. Now I am exploring the more intimate landscapes of still life, a poetic genre. I am influenced by realist painters like Claudio Bravo and Antonio Lopez Garcia, but am even more affected by older artists like Adrian Coorte, Jan van Eyck, and Giovanni Bellini.
The painting is the richest type of object I can think of – particularly a realist painting – because it is an object that contains the image and illusion of other objects. Since I realized that I was capable of producing paintings that contain objects, I have focused on creating compositions that have the most richness and sense of meaning that I can with the simplest of subjects. Many of my paintings contain one or two objects (like Bread, 2012) – as much as I feel that I can authentically balance – but they are starting to become more complex (like Tiny Fruits, 2016).
Currently my work takes two general forms, either traditional, altaresque still lives of natural objects on cloth, or “foliage paintings”: wilder still lives of plants, leaves, and branches on a dark background, which I see as a cross-pollination between landscape and still life. Paintings come from any area of my life and are reflections of my preoccupations or my responses to the simplest of sensations. Often they contain open meanings. Sometimes they are evolving compositions – I layer my more perishable subjects over one another as I paint. My painting entitled Croy Canyon is a collection of layered plants from walks in my home canyon over the course of a summer. I am glad to have arrived in inspiring Idaho where the natural world is everything.