I paint run down, worn-in urban environments as a way to study gritty places and people.
Every painting begins with a layer of newspaper permanently adhered to the surface. The purpose of the newspaper is to simulate the chaos and noise found in urban environments. Layers of transparent and opaque paint are then built up over the surface. Through this process, subtle areas of the background are revealed ...windows fill with people, headlines bleed through the sky, graffiti-like graphics appear on walls.
How do I choose my subject matter?
I paint from the gut. Most of the time my subjects find me..and by choosing to remain mindful of those connections, I am able to collect ideas for future exploration. I do this with photographs, quick sketches, and journaling. Over time, I began noticing commonalities in the work that I was creating, most notably the desire to capture grittier subjects. As I became more and more curious about what grit was, I discovered that it was the central theme in my work.
Grit is courage, passion, perseverance, determination, and resilience. The subjects found in my work either set a stage for grit to be present (forgotten corners of cities) or explore what grit looks like in action (the business owner surrounded by their hard work and dreams).
Every single painting is a way for me to open up about who I am and connect with people who have thrived despite challenging circumstances in their lives.