First Friday June 1st 2012

Contemplating People

I have spent my life obsessed with the figure and what the figure says about humanity.  From the thoughts of our minds to the appearance of our many faces, I am constantly intrigued by humanity.  When I look at people I see the layers of their flesh separate into layers of paint; the reflection in their eye becomes a battle for which white is whitest, and I imagine the deep layers that would create the under painting.   The aesthetic style that unfolds in one of my portraits is a result of everything I’ve learned prior and the moments of chance that I learn from.  I find that when I allow myself to disappear in the moment, the freedom from all unnecessary mental tangents allows for each piece to take form in the most honest way.  I often feel my thoughts are accompanied by a certain amount of shame.  When I choose to paint pieces that have an allegorical relevance to me, whether or not this is apparent to the viewer, I tend to free myself from the correlated shame I would otherwise feel when expressing something vulnerable.

I have always found a therapeutic state of mind through the process of painting.  The final products are simply the destination, while for me the most relevant moments occur during the process.  My work evolves into a final product through a series of therapeutic brush strokes.  In my most recent work I have used the process of painting to organize my mind and focus on who I truly am.

When I look for subjects to paint, I normally look for an honest beauty that effortlessly escapes.   Willie Nelson once wrote, “Don’t confuse caring for weakness, you can’t put that label on me, the truth is my weapon of mass protection and I believe truth sets you free.”   I search for truth and honesty in my paintings, and for me raw honesty is what makes me feel free.  I seek to keep the integrity of my subjects in tact while hoping to convey the vulnerabilities that seem to exist in all people.  My intention for my future work is to simply move forward with the same momentum in which I’ve progressed; always searching for new ways to depict the human form and always allowing each painting to become its own individual piece.