Artist Statement

I have always been interested in exploring not the shocking and new, but the mysterious qualities of the familiar. I hope to make the viewers of my paintings aware of something that they may already know but perhaps were not fully aware of: the restless energy of a figure skater, the vulnerable early steps of a toddler, the way a moon creates a line of light on the water.

In seeking out subjects for my paintings, I look for this quality of universality. I want to present my subjects in all their particularity but still reveal something universal to the viewer, so that the viewer can tap into his own memories and emotions when viewing the painting. It is perhaps for this reason that I’ve generally been attracted to realism in my paintings. I studied painting at Bennington College and CCNY and later continued my studies at the Art Students League in New York, where I was luck enough to take anatomy for artists with the brilliant lecturer Robert Beverly Hale. I have shown my work at numerous galleries throughout New England as well as running a small gallery in Maine for several years.

My approach to painting is an attempt to express the inner life and mystery of my subjects. When planning an oil painting, I start with composition, doing a series of thumbnail sketches and a tonal study. I then do a tonal work-up of the final piece before applying color on top of that. For still life and landscapes, I mix and arrange the colors in light, half-tone and dark batches and paint directly. For skin tones I begin with a grisaille under-painting in grey or terra verte. After it dries I use medium to slowly layer the color in lights, darks and half-tones. I consider my paintings done only when the illusionary magic is working so that the colors are balanced, the light on the subject is convincing, and the viewer’s eye is led to important areas.

My recent work has involved tackling larger portraits, many of them on commission. I am excited by the challenges of a larger canvas and by the practical demands of portraiture: how to achieve a good likeness while revealing an inner quality that perhaps even the subject himself was not aware he possessed. I am particularly proud of some of my recent portraits of children, including a portrait of Chief Justice John Roberts’ children. I enjoy painting children because they embody both the mystery and universality that I strive to capture in all my work.

Kissing Lemons, Seven Strawberries
Oil on canvas