I love to believe I control my own destiny, but I realize that through opportunity and circumstance, fate continuously pushes me down the path to create art . Glad I love making art.
I am inspired by energy moving, color, growth and weathered perseverance, survival and competition, confidence earned, physical dominance, interacting natural systems, fate and destiny, creation, defiance of law, evolving, learning, my family, music, breath and timeless- thoughtless space, and creating something to outlive me.
Commonalities in my art include: nature, balance, order, growth, the infinite life cycle, interconnectedness of species, complementary ecosystems, environmental influences, and microbiomes. I express these ideas through pattern, color, line, earth elements, and geometric shapes.
Trees and wood prevail in my art physically and thematically.
I grew up playing behind our house in the woods with a tiny creek and acres of trees. I gave many of the trees distinct personas. Trees breathe, move, and are shaped by their environment. A tree can support a self-contained ecosystem, while offering shade, shelter, air, fuel, food, medicine, weapons, textiles, recreation, and inspiration. Highly adaptable and incredibly diverse, trees plant roots and reach for the sky. Trees grow or die.
My totem paintings are about finding balance in life’s chaos. Balance is achieved through the hand drawn bilateral symmetry in this work. The bilateral symmetry, so common in nature, is analogous to a reflection in water or a mirror, and as I paint I am constantly reflecting on my blessed roller coaster ride of life. My totems grow like trees and suggest the interconnectedness of all creatures and species. I have always held a profound interest in genetic engineering. In fourth grade I won a creative writing competition in about crossing different attributes of apex predators to create beastly new creatures. In life I have repeatedly observed the inherent strength and beauty which so often results from crossing different strains and varieties of plant and animal. It is fascinating to discover the hidden creatures in the totem paintings that inspire me with power and grace. This work is more intuitive and organic than any other style I create.
The dot paintings also rely on balance and order and address environmental influence by the way the color of each dot exists based on the colors around it. We cannot escape the power and influence our environment holds in shaping our lives. You don’t choose where you are born, or how old you are…the few things in this life an individual can control tend to be internal or interpersonal. Decision making and responsiveness in this life are crucial in shaping one’s destiny, however, the majority is out of one’s control, just like what color you may be if you were a dot in one of my paintings.
Bonsai is the art of growing trees in vessels. I love the idea of influencing something that can grow mighty like a tree to flourish for hundreds of years and yet remain inches tall. Bonsai is also a meditative art that follows specific guidelines based on balance and order. My favorite traditional rule is there should be space between each of the branches to ‘Let the birds fly through’. This work also explores ideas of scale comparing the trees to their surrounding flora and fauna.
The wood pieces are an opportunity to use the most sublime resource to paint on. Truly a collaboration between myself and the wood, the grain patterns inform my composition by using the natural lines to define details of each piece. Traditional Hawaiian artisans pass their Mana or “life-force” into the wood when they are carving canoes, surfboards or tikis. I feel similarly connected as I engage with each piece having intentions to respect and honor the Tree.