Milwaukee born and raised I grew up in a large family where my artistic inclinations were a result of being left to my imagination for long stretches of time. I’ve always been attracted to sci-if and fantasy themes in order to help make sense of the world. Art for me has been both an exercise in technical mastery and storytelling, my favorite artists are the ones that leave me asking questions. Since graduating from college in 2005, I’ve taught myself how to paint via Photoshop and it has been my medium of choice outside of pencils.
Mediums: Oil pastel on Arches cold press watercolor paper
Favorite Artist Tool: My computer
Go-to Local Inspiration: The bridge on KK, crossing the river just before the overpass where semis get stuck; I’m always struck by the way the sun makes things happen there in the summer just before sunset.
Mentor Compliment: Ariana was a perfect match. I adore her jewel-like artwork and her effervescent personality.
Fun Fact: I didn’t know how young the medium of oil pastels is or how Picasso was involved in their refinement.
Serious Fact: I was asked to join an artist’s fellowship at Beloit College on Art & Technology with a focus on AI, of which I’m highly opinionated about.
I’ve made work that I didn’t expect to make. Initially, I was intent on using oil paints to create pieces similar to my older digital work, where the goal was the convincing gestalt of modeling. However, I made accommodations.
I adopted oil pastels, an inspired suggestion from my mentor Ariana, to help mitigate my lack of dedicated studio space. I grew especially appreciative of the meditative aspects of the process, with the soft repetitive striking of oil pastel against gessoed paper focusing my mind like a Tibetan singing bowl. As a consequence, I reconnected to the humanity of art making.
The philosophical inspiration behind the work was coming to terms with my own mortality, the advanced age of a parent, my relationship with my children, and machine learning’s unsettling encroachment on human art. In this work, I’m not courting escapism but turning inward to complex feelings of existential sadness.