I often find myself brooding over painful events of my past; the loss of a loved one, a relationship that turned sour, betrayal by someone I thought was my friend. Inevitably, I’ll ruminate over the meaning of life and death; even more so now, during these times of isolation and solitude. This pandemic has given me the opportunity to explore feelings of loneliness and sorrow, while taking a closer look at how simple things can express or suggest these emotions. Unassuming objects that we take for granted everyday, like a human hand or that bird outside your window; they’re capable of triggering a response. While I’m genuinely interested in the subjects I choose to paint, I’m more focused on how something makes me feel, not just rendering a pretty animal on a pedestal.
These pieces were created during the COVID-19, shelter-in-place. Since my days in school, I’ve been working primarily in acrylic. I’ve chosen wood or masonite as a canvas for its smooth and rigid qualities. When starting a new piece, I picture the completed work in mind. I’ll sketch a very rough layout on my canvas, then begin an underpainting. I will add color as transparent layers once I’m comfortable with the black and white values I’ve detailed. It’s important to me that I represent wildlife and the human form in a realistic manner, so I rely on photographic reference whenever possible.
These works are currently on view and are available for purchase at Abrams Claghorn Gallery, 1251 Solano Avenue, Albany, California.