In my youth, if you told me left, I'd go right. If you said stop, I'd run ahead. My adversarial attitude wasn't out of malice; it just came from years of wanting to do things differently. These days, being a contrarian is less an act of disobedience and more a source for my artistic inspiration. For me, art has become a playing field where contradictions can meld, and combining opposites is the challenge.
As a realist painter, I'm inspired by artistic traditions and much of my art reflects my desire to refine my technique. But, years of going against the grain is a habit, and solely painting realistically feels incomplete to me. In search for something more personal in my art, I’ve expanded upon traditional ways of painting by incorporating more expressive brushwork and placing highly developed, realistic areas next to looser, almost impressionistic ones. I'm fascinated with how to combine near photographic rendering, alongside the roughness of the palette knife, or the randomness of a loaded brush. This way of working produces a natural tension in my paintings, as well as directs my viewer’s eye to where I want it to travel. My choices of composition often lie outside of traditional rules as well, and I tend to gravitate towards subjects that do not necessarily follow a conventional standard of beauty. While there is a bit of provocation in playing against academic ideas of the way art should be, there is also an invitation to expand our beliefs of what is beautiful and how to render it.
Through my process, I find that each piece I paint becomes another opportunity for my technical side and my expressive side to find common ground, a place where the traditional and the contemporary work together. I hope those who see my work will be inspired in a similar manner, and they too will find their space where contradictions can meet.