Artist Statement

My work explores beauty, enchantment, and mystery, and is guided by a desire to create images that transcend the mundane. I use surrealist-influenced methods to create phantasmagorical landscapes that combine semi-abstract figurative imagery with formal approaches to imagemaking. Though sometimes taking cues from macabre styles of art, my work is intended to be serene and evocative rather than distopian. I am trying to echo the intention of classical Chinese painters to invite the viewer to look into rather than at the work of art. I would like the viewer to be transported to an awareness that is best described using the Japanese aesthetic concept of yuugen, or profound grace. My imagery—which often serves as a foil upon which to engage formal issues such as composition, texture, and colour—comes from all aspects of my lived experience and includes stylized representations of figures in landscapes, accompanied by elemental forms, humanoid and anthropomorphic beings and plants, buildings and ruins, and enigmatic phenomena. Underlying my work is the exploration of relationships and interactions such as those between individuals, between people and the world, and between people and the unknown. In addition to a variety of art-historical influences, I often find inspiration in such fields as film, music, and cartoons.

My practice has always been strongly based in drawing, and places a high value on visual expression. In contrast to artists whose work starts with concepts or verbal statements, I start with materials and intention rather than words, and see drawing as a way to practice looking and seeing, even when the drawing isn’t necessarily representational. If any overall conceptual or theoretical framework informs my practice, it is the intent to create evocative nonverbal imagery that draws the viewer into an experience that is beyond the mundane recognition of worldly objects and activities.

While drawing is a key part of my work, I don’t define myself by the medium or methods I work with. Labels such as painter, sculptor, or digital artist have become increasingly inapplicable to my practice. I see myself as an artist, period. My media choices for a given body of work are less dependent upon the materials I’m working with than on the pieces I want to create and the circumstances under in which I make them. I find myself less interested in the concerns of specific media, and more concerned with continuing to make art regardless of the materials at hand.

28 June 2007