I have been a painter since using finger paints on the floor of my kindergarten classroom to create a face. It is my most vivid memory from that first year of school. Making art has been at the core of my existence ever since. My grandfather encouraged me by introducing paint-by-number sets and then art lessons at age 13 at our local museum pushed me creatively forward. It was then that I realized that I might be an artist one day. I remember in high school being thrilled to experience the moment when these creations took on a life of their own. Others too recognized that I had something special and unique. More than anything it was a passion and a drive; it didn’t always come easily, but, I worked feverishly to be better.
Presently, portrait painting is my true passion, it has driven me for a solid 4 years now in creating 135 large artworks. One moment it was an amalgamation of colored shapes on the canvas and then boom, with the addition of a single stroke it could be transformed into a lifelike entity. I strive to meld the physical and spiritual characteristics of each person I paint into the most telling portrait possible. To me, conveying the essence of my sitter is paramount. I am attracted to people who project an air of theatricality and mystery. I see their clothing or makeup or tattoos as an extension of who they are and intrinsic in telling their personal story.
Every portrait I paint provides me with the opportunity to create a work of art that exhibits both beauty and timelessness. It's exciting to consider the possibility that one day my painting will be my legacy and exist long after I do, providing deep meaning and telling my story as an artist for many generations to come.
Many of the greatest masterpieces of Western Art have been commissioned portrait paintings. My inspiration is drawn from the art of the great academic masters, such as Rembrandt, Johannes Vermeer, John Singer Sargent, Ingres, and William Adolphe Bouguereau. Contemporary artists Chuck Close, Steve Penley, Kehinde Wiley, and Graydon Parrish continue to inspire me. My challenge, as an artist, is to live up to the standard of excellence they've established. Michelangelo said the greater danger is not that our hopes are too high and we fail to reach them; it's that they're too low and we do. Painting has provided me with this wonderful challenge in striving for the highest each time I sit in front of that easel.