I live in Val Marie, Saskatchewan, just north of the Montana border at the gateway to Grasslands National Park. Inspired by this region’s subtlety and remoteness, my paintings reflect on our ideas about and awareness of beauty.
Throughout much of my artistic career, my paintings have considered the relationship of interior narrative to the actions we take, of how we perceive beauty to what we do with that perception. For most of twenty years, my imagery was representational, narrative, and figurative. When the figures left my work in 2003, the space that remained came to be inhabited by objects and scenes which signify the human presence rather than recreating it.
Though my paintings are representational, they aren’t just about surface appearance. I believe that if I can paint someone or something so it looks the most like itself, I might help viewers see not just the painting’s subject, but themselves in it. I believe that without an essential understanding of our own beauty and the beauty of our experience, we can’t appreciate the value of what we encounter. I continue to explore the connection between our inner view and what’s around us.
When starting a new painting, I begin with photographs I make then revision and digitally edit to augment their meaning. Sometimes the painted images that flow from them are a more immediate interpretation of what is seen in a photo; sometimes I combine elements from several sources. My process uses oil paint applied in an alla prima though precise manner. Recently I have also started to incorporate drawings in pencil into the paintings.
Because I believe that the personal and the exterior can’t be separated without diminishing both, my paintings seek to remind us of the inescapable way these fit together.