My journey as a professional artist has been an adventure of growth and learning that has taken me far beyond the classroom. Although I've remained somewhat of a purist and don't often mix media, I certainly have experimented with different media. For example, I've incorporated pen and ink into watercolor paintings, or added another element to an acrylic painting. I like the purity of watercolor and the boldness of acrylic or oil.

When I begin a painting, there usually has been a mental process already at work for some time. As the main idea develops, my mind explores the angle, composition, light and shadows and how they affect the form. If there is some kind of action in the piece, I think about how that action will be portrayed. Then I consider what models and props will be needed. Since conditions change constantly in the natural world, I often work from photographs I've taken.  I frequently have several ideas developing at the same time. The whole process usually flows naturally like breathing, although there is a discipline to painting. Preliminary sketches are important to do, and when I approach a surface to paint, my actions are deliberate and I already have a mental plan of how the painting is to go.

Having a foundation in drawing and design, I am drawn to form and how light and shadows affect it, either subtly or more dramatically. I am fascinated with portraying three dimensional forms on a two dimensional surface. For watercolors I begin with a light contour line drawing, then paint wet on wet washes in alternating sections of the paper. After these dry I add more layers with decreasing wetness and increasing detail. Sometimes I purposely leave background areas blurred or bled in order to give a sense of depth. For acrylic on canvas, I don't usually paint glazes, but directly blend thicker colors as needed. Since acrylic sets faster than oil, I've learned to paint quicker and mix more directly on the canvas and limit my palette. Because of the nature of the medium, I feel the volume and mass of the paint, which gives more of a sense of building the image. It's exciting to see the forms emerge as color, shadows, light and texture come together. 

Different genres have evolved for me. There was a time when I had a low tolerance for painting landscapes, but was totally captivated by portraiture. Now I find landscapes quite enjoyable. Either way, I'm more comfortable creating representational and surrealistic art. It's not easy to say who has influenced me the most artistically, but there have been many from family to art teachers and professors to books, bloggers and other artists. Some of my artistic heroes include Edward Hopper, Norman Rockwell, Mary Cassatt, Andrew Wyeth, Claude Monet, Cherie Bladholm, Ron DiCianni, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Salvador Dali.

Desiring for my work to go beyond what is seen with natural eyes, I find myself painting narratives into the images, whether it is a simple, singular idea or a more complex one. Whatever the viewer discovers in the image, my hope is that it is communicated at a level that can be felt.