About the Artist
Born and raised in Texas, I received my BS from West Texas State University and my MFA from Texas Christian University. Following graduate school, I spent eight years teaching painting and drawing at the University of Manitoba School of Art in Canada. At this time, my work was primarily centered around installations, filling entire spaces with varying materials to create total transformations.
Shortly after my return to Texas I put my art on hold and began painting large sets for stage productions and television. I returned to teaching for a few years and taught scenic painting in the theater department at Southern Methodist University. It wasn't until around 2002 that I returned to my own personal art. When you paint everyday as a scenic artist, it is hard to go to your studio and paint without it reminding you of work. The separation of my every day job from my art was a struggle and finding a new voice was a long slow process.
Much of my time in the beginning was spent looking at images from different cultures -- Australia, Indonesia, New Guinea, China, and Japan, as well as the imagery used in street art and full body tattoos. I have always enjoyed the honesty and unassuming nature of outsider art and especially admire the work of James Hampton and his "Throne to a Third Heaven." All of the artists in the book "Gardens of Revelation" by John Beardsley have been and still are a major influence.
Throughout my career as an artist, scenic artist, and educator my own personal work has followed a never ending path in search of defining and redefining the urban and rural landscape that surrounds me. The extraordinary color, texture and pattern of the contemporary landscape coupled with the constant and ever changing cycle of decline and rebirth creates an elusive organic and architectural phenomenon that continues to be the overriding theme in my elaborately painted sculpture and installations.
With a broad assortment of influences from various cultures - Australia, Indonesia, New Guinea, China and Japan - as well as an interest in the popular imagery used in street art, graffiti and full body tattoos, I cut, enlarge, crop and tape together various bits and pieces of selected imagery. In an attempt to create a new and exciting visual language that at first glance may appear to be unfamiliar, disorienting and confusing, I paint and assemble what hopefully becomes a new, magical, believable landscape.
Two ongoing themes - Irreversible change and Selective memory - continue to dominate my work. Irreversible change started as a result of the tsunami that devastated Japan in 2011 and the most recent Selective memory a combination of childhood memories as well as recurring memories of personal events from my past. With these two recurring, always present themes the work has developed into a very personal statement about what art should be or should not be for me as an artist. A statement about painting in a world dominated by new media. A statement about an attempt to create the extraordinary, phenomenal and magical no matter how time consuming versus following a path of least resistance. A statement about commitment. A statement about discipline. A statement about time consuming art versus art that takes no more than 60 seconds. A statement about what is important about art to me personally and what is not. A statement about what we think we are communicating versus what people see. A statement about the decorative and guilty pleasures versus the intellectual. A statement about the validity of even thinking about any or part of the above or completely ignoring it all and just continuing work.