about the artist

In the beginning… there was graphite

Art has always been an integral aspect of my life. I’m a self-taught artist, and life long resident of western Massachusetts. My career as a professional artist began in the graphic arts field, freelancing and specializing in hand lettering and display work. Occasionally, opportunities arose in illustration in the form of children’s books and calendars.

In 1999 I made the transition from commercial art to fine art. Graphite seemed like the natural direction to pursue, as I always had an admiration for black and white photography and films. I was also drawn to its fundamental quality.

My artwork is created in my home studio. The execution of a large drawing entails upwards of three or more months to complete. Each area is drawn to its finished detail using multi-layered values, as opposed to a painter that may lay in general colors at the onset. Rarely do I return to make adjustments.

The months from late autumn through early spring I find are the most motivating in my desire to create artwork. Subjects are easily observed in woods, in rural areas without the adornment of spring and summer greens. I rather enjoy the challenge it takes to create art without the use of color.

In need of refreshment

Objects in disrepair most often appear as subjects in my artwork. Their textural ruin demonstrates character and often graceful deterioration. I see them as discovered sculptures, found art, which only time can transform. These relics were long ago neglected, but of their history I often wonder, who owned them, who used them; these things were once significant in someone’s life. Their life is prolonged through the artwork.

Colorful character

When the subject I feel demands a color rendition, I decide what medium will best represent it. Since 1999, my work has appeared only briefly in color: an oil or acrylic painting, and half dozen or so watercolors.

‘Lemon Drops’, my first acrylic painting in many years, is a contrast from the rustic past to the ‘still-life’ present. This image is a transition from my previous ‘found art’ approach to a more controlled, creative conceptual picture. Naturally, it is a transition from black and white to color also, in addition to being exterior versus interior motifs. Personally, I feel greater satisfaction as an artist in searching for antique or discarded objects with a related theme, arranging them to form a unified composition. Since ‘Lemon Drops’, my main focus is in creating an extensive still life series.

American Masters

Upon first discovering their work, there are two American artists that I’ve been passionately drawn to, Maxfield Parrish and Andrew Wyeth. Both have a representational approach to painting, but are uniquely different in subject matter and style.

Parrish’s work features majestic scenery, landscapes of romanticism and dream-like qualities, while others of his are more whimsical in nature. His paintings are elaborate; color is of the essence and enhances their grandeur and mood.

Andrew Wyeth’s work is very opposite in feeling. His paintings often evoke pensive emotion from a single subject with very limited color. This and also his earthy, almost-monochromatic palette I easily relate to as being at the core of my own artistic creativity.

In 2003, through my drawing ‘Docent of the Olson House’, I had the honor of briefly meeting Mr. Wyeth. It was a tremendous experience to be speaking eye to eye with the artist that created the volume of artwork that inspired me the greatest.

Photography by Elizabeth Wilda 
 
Memberships:
National Society of Painters in Casein and Acrylic, New York
Allied Artists of America, Inc., New York City, New York
Academic Artists Association, Springfield, Massachusetts
Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts, Mystic, Connecticut
Connecticut River Valley Artists, Somers, Connecticut
 
 Museums:
Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, Maine-drawing in permanent collection
Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Wausau, WI-drawing in permanent collection