Night Forest, oil, 28 x 26" (71 x 66 cm)
Night Forest was painted from life and emerged from the exploration of personal themes that have been moving my work in a new direction. Over the past several years, I have been gaining a much deeper understanding of the fragility of life and our planet’s rhythms and systems that we depend on for survival. These ideas are beginning to infiltrate my work. In this painting, you can imagine yourself in a mysterious forest. My tattooed sitter suggests the Celtic hero, the Oak King, waiting for summer to return; or he is a modern man reconnecting with discarded childhood stories of a spirit of the forest. While I wanted to leave the painting open to individual interpretation, I am inwardly reflecting on the tragic results of deforestation and disregard for the environment by some global industries.
I have always been interested in painting. My family is full of creative people who did not discourage me from following my heart. Even so, I have had to work very hard, but I cannot imagine myself doing anything else. I studied drawing and painting from life at the Aristides Classical Atelier at Gage Academy of Fine Art in Seattle. Then I went on to finish my education with a fellowship award at Grand Central Academy, New York City, in 2012. Since then I have completed a number of commissioned portraits of accomplished individuals and continue to produce personal creative work in my Oakland, California, studio.