All of these images stem from my interest in the natural world and its cycles, and my place in it.
In my early ‘caveman’ series, I created clay figures and photographed them with a Polaroid SX-70 camera which allowed me to blur the focus. The images are dreamlike and idealistic. They imagine the subject as a perfect being (my alter ego), completely fused with his environment.
In my figurative paintings, I was interested in the relationship between the human body and the spirit body. For me, the immediacy of the painted image (the heaviness of the brush work and the lightness of the color), fuses body and spirit into one image. Life and afterlife are one.
Most of my recent drawings and sculptural work have been more descriptive than the paintings, yet still relate to my interest in the continuity of spirit and the cessation of body – i.e., the cycle of life and death in nature. In this work, I approach these ideas from a more playful and poetic place, allowing the images and forms to build their own sense of story and place.
I grew up in a small farming community in southwestern Louisiana, surrounded by hundreds of acres of woods and fields. Like many people raised in the 1960’s and 70’s, I spent most of my time outdoors.
I have always been a maker. Being an artist was an aspiration of mine since childhood.
I began formally studying art in the early 1980’s. I attended Kansas City Art Institute and Yale School of Art as an undergraduate, and received my BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. After living in Chicago for many years, I moved to Philadelphia, where I received my MFA from Tyler School of Art.
I taught for several years throughout the Midwest and in southern California, at many colleges, art schools and universities, including: The Art Institute of Chicago, Columbia College in Chicago, Washington University in St. Louis, California Institute of the Arts, UCLA, UC Irvine, and The University of Southern California.
Throughout my early career as a teacher, I continued to make large abstract oil paintings. Gradually, even though my paintings evolved into both figurative and landscape images, they always maintained a spirit of inventiveness and otherworldliness. It is these two qualities which continue to be guiding forces for me as an artist.