Personal narrative and the role of memory and imagination, particularly as it relates to family, loss, and place, is what drives my practice. In this intimate exploration, I am able to investigate and comprehend the significance of the personal as it relates to a broader, more inclusive context. My narratives translate as whimsical and somber, joyous and mournful, comedic and dramatic, much like the hallmarks of human nature.
Most recently I have been making portraits of deceased family members, not so much to commemorate them, but rather to come to terms with their all too brief existence, their deaths, and the process of mourning and remembering. I am, in a sense, giving myself permission to continue the grieving process in this work with the hope that it will encourage others to do the same. We live with a “get over it” mentality that does not serve our health or well being.
I begin with a place; I paint a specific location that I conjure from my particular geography and add the individual as I remember or imagine his or her presence in that locale. I refer to photographs as reference periodically, but for the most part these images come from my head, my reminiscences. The imagery grows out of a scene that develops slowly as I work, and that gradual connection between place and person becomes a painting.