I am a painter working in North Carolina. Inspired by the foliage and fresh air of wilderness areas as well as the vibrancy of diverse urban areas. I show my work locally in my studio space at Artspace in downtown Raleigh. I also show my work regionally and nationally. Recently some of my paintings were included in a group show in Boston, and I'm represented in NY by Gitana Rosa gallery.
About My Work
Painting is a way to depict my own parallel universe.
I create a visual culture of personified animals in woodland settings, a contemplation of the mystical aspect of nature. Hiking a trail, I may happen upon a deer, owl, beetle, or strange flower. I ask myself why that particular animal or plant appeared to me at that time. What does an owl represent in my subconscious and what symbolic weight does it carry?
My cityscape paintings are based on memories of architecture. I have an affinity for historic districts and craftsmanship. The geometric shape of the window describes the personality of the building, and perhaps the resident.
Oil paints allow for the spontaneous nature of my process. I enjoy the extended amount of working time they allow, making it easy to blend colors. I tend to start an oil painting with an aura of color, then gradually define the scene I am painting. I apply the paint thinly for a transluscent effect, or very thickly and boldly.
Encaustic paints have allowed me to build translucent layers of imagery, as well as add mixed media elements to my work. Encaustic is a process where I melt pigmented beeswax to a molten liquid state and then paint with it on panel. I incorporate drawings that “float” over the surface of an oil painting. I obscure a portion of the painting with layers of colored wax, only to scrape back and reveal the image in a later incarnation. This has helped me be more fluid in my ideas. I end up with a layered, translucent surface that emphasizes dimensionality. This technique lends itself to work concerning the imagined realm.
Encaustic painting is a process of heating wax mixed with a resin and pigment to around 200 degrees fahrenheit, applying it to a sturdy substrate such as wood, and then fusing with a heat source such as a heat gun, iron or propane torch. It's possible to scrape and incise the wax, as well as to collage materials into it, and to paint on it with oils paints. Layers are built up and fused, scraped back and incised and built up again. Each layer is fused with heat. the final painting is buffed with a soft cloth to bring out the shine of the wax. This ancient and durable medium has a mystery, a luminosity and an organic quality that give the final pieces a spiritual quality.
An encaustic painting is durable and archival. There are encaustic paintings from Greco-Roman Egypt that have survived in good condition. Encaustic paintings also need care. They will melt at 150 degrees fahrenheit, so storage in a hot car trunk is not an option. Below freezing, the wax can crack. So, the encaustic painting needs to be kept between 35 and 120 degrees. Normal indoor conditions work best. No strong direct sunlight.
If the surface of the painting becomes cloudy, it can be buffed with a soft cloth and it will regain its shine. Since it can harm the surface to lean something up against it of to put cardboard on the surface, I carry my paintings flat in my car with the painting surface facing up, it hot weather I turn on the AC. The edges of an encaustic painting are especially vulnerable because they extend beyond the wooden substrate. An encaustic painting doesn't need to be framed, but framing one will protect the edges from damage.
I always take the upmost care when shipping encaustic paintings, making sure they are well packaged for their journey. I also insure every painting I ship, so any possible damage is covered. If you purchase a painting and then damage it by accident, I will do small repair work for free.
Why No Prints?
I don't make any prints of my work. Instead I offer smaller sized work or work on paper at an affordable price. I believe very much in the aura of an original painting. The creativity of an original painting is tangible and felt by the collector. The paintings I sell are one of a kind, and since there are no prints, the collector is assured of having a completely original painting unique to their space. An original piece of art is made of archival materials and will not deteriorate over the years like a print will. An original piece of art retains it's value and has the possibility of gaining value, emotional and monetary. Buying an original piece from an artist establishes a connection between the artist and collector in a way that a print can't. I have often talked to collectors who supported me in my early career and had the pleasure to revisit my older paintings. It makes me happy to know that my paintings are still appreciated and loved.