-What makes your process unique?
I think the relationship of the figure to the background makes my work and process a bit unique. I paint the background over the figure and vice versa again and again as a painting develops, smearing the background into the figure and identifying the areas that are naturally showing themselves as possibilities for “harder” edges.
I focus a lot on accurately rendering the figure at the beginning of my process (even though I’ll end up heavily distorting parts of it later). If anything is out of proportion, the viewer can pick up on that immediately and the intention of the painting is lost. Once I feel confident with my drawing, my process becomes looser as I go in with a palette knife to define an area of focus or blend the skin tones into the background to lose some edges completely.
-What is something you haven’t yet achieved in your art?
I am forever trying to achieve the right balance of texture, rendering and abstraction in my work. Some of my pieces do it more successfully than others, but I never feel like I’ve truly nailed it.
I’m in pursuit of a technique “recipe” that is representational, yet transcends into abstraction. I intend my paintings to have multiple dimensions: the figure behind glass, the steam that distorts the shapes, and the texture on top of the canvas itself give an effect that I love. However, finding this balance is a feeling for me rather than a defined process, so the right mix is always something I’m looking to achieve.
-As an artist, how do you define success?
Success is such a relative term, but especially in art. I’d imagine that even if I were making a living on my work alone (I’m currently a graphic designer from 9-5), I still wouldn’t feel “successful.” As artists, our work is always evolving with subjective benchmarks for what a “good” painting looks like. Having shows or selling a piece may feel good and will boost confidence, but those feelings can be fleeting.
Success, then, has to be personal. I learn something in each painting I do and bring that “something” into the next painting. It’s truly a balance of implementing tools I’ve learned and taking enough risks so that the final product feels fresh and maybe even surprises me a bit. If I can look back at a piece and see that the chances I took and the process I implemented made that work jive in all the right ways, I consider that a successful painting.
-Who are your favorite artists?
Since college, I’ve been looking at Lucian Freud, Jenny Saville, and Alex Kanevsky. Alex’s work was the first time I had ever seen an artist distort the figure using the background in such a compelling way.
-What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?