I was born in 1957, and live and work at Western Avenue Lofts, a large and thriving artist’s community in Lowell, Massachusetts.
Like most kids, I painted early, but then basically kept going, and by high school I was doing landscapes and beginning to explore visionary-style themes. A few years later, I also started doing signage and other commercial art jobs.
I showed my paintings in non-gallery venues, and in an occasional juried show until more recently, and then in 2015, began to display every month to the public during First Saturday Open Studios.
My family has a creative heritage- I learned basic watercolors from my mother who loved nature and God. We were fortunate to grow up in an idyllic natural setting; the woods, fields, and river was an A+ fuel for my imagination. I loved birds in particular, which became the subjects of my first paintings.
Being inclined to religion and spirituality, my early natural inspiration was to emphasize this in my drawings of the human form. I wanted to express the sense of an expanded awareness beyond the physical.
Meanwhile, I continued to work on hired projects. First it was graphics, signage, and murals on vehicles and real estate signs, and then large backdrops and props for trade shows. This evolved to include film and theatrical productions, and advertising photography This evolved to include film and theatrical productions, and advertising photography.
Sprinkled throughout this progression are interior house-painting commissions, which often involve decorative effects and imitation surfaces, and sometimes landscape murals. Finally, in 1990 I also began to specialize in food and floral illustration for print advertising and packaging.
All of these different jobs kindled in me a love for materials and experimentation. In order to adapt to different surfaces and expressive requirements, this became a basic part of my workflow,
As I continued on this path- working on both my own ideas, and on hired projects- it became established in me a strong sense of art as first and foremost, the creation of a functional object.
In art historical terms, I see the substance and evolution of my style as based in the traditions of religious art, where realist and visionary conceptions are combined in service to a higher calling.
As an overall direction while working, my aim is to listen for the guiding hand rather than imposing upon the inspiration. In practice, this becomes an attempt to balance an obsession for methodical planning and execution, with an irrepressible desire to let loose in spontaneity.
To keep the peace, I deliberately begin some new work on the spur of the moment, with no particular image or subject in mind, employing a random surface and leftover paint. Invariably, a subject or theme emerges, which in turn suggests a particular direction towards completion.
Quick-drying water-based paints- particularly acrylics and watercolors, really play well for me in this regard, allowing for rapid layering or the chance effect -or easy removal to reveal some hidden form.
I use all sorts of tools and methods and technology- new and old, in developing images. This might be a combination of photo references and ideas of the imagination, or sketching from nature. Digital techniques- including inkjet printing, are woven thru out my overall process.