Artist Statement

My work comes from a dichotomous existence. I grew up in a small town, Mingo Junction, and we lived on a hill overlooking the downtown area. The town was located on the Ohio River next to the steel mills, a natural and an industrial environment in one.

As a child, I became interested in comic books and wanted nothing more than to draw them. Then my aunt introduced me to the Baroque and portraiture, and the images of horses and nudes floating up to heaven turned me toward fine art. These were the images that remained, and remain, with me. Now I am influenced by painters such as Rubens, Degas, Courbet, and Pieter Bruegel the Elder, but I am also drawn to Thiebaud, Diebenkorn, Kline, Ernst, and Beckmann. I strive to combine the lush physicality of the older painters with the psychological complexity of the modern ones. This duality informs my current work, which revolves around themes of the earth, the nude, and portraiture.

In Dreams is the piece that best embodies my artistic project: I depict myself climbing out of a valley, past a hill where a sleeping girl rests. I hope to continue developing my craft, negotiating in the complex space between the traditional and the contemporary.