Art is a conversation. It’s my hope that when you look at my paintings you feel something universal and yet very personal resonate with your own life experience and sensory memories.
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I paint to question and make record of my world, or at least my memory of it.
My memories of people and places materialize through a physical pleasure in the tactility of paint and the effects of colour. Sometimes I’m reaching to evoke the atmosphere of geographies I’ve visited or imagined. Other times, contemplation of an interaction with another person or a relationship dynamic becomes the basis for my exploration in colour and mark making. Often, I feel a sense of space and my impressions of the sublime experience of landscape emerges from abstraction.
In the words of Edgar Degas, “It is all very well to copy what you see, but it is much better to draw only what you still see in your memory.”
We are all makers of our subjective experience. Art records and translates what cannot be otherwise defined.
A fleeting moment buried in time, the nostalgia for a certain quality of light, the echoes of an alternate history that has been imagined and never made real are, for me, the muses most demanding of attention through my art practice.
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While I pursue art in many ways, I paint to think more abstractly and fluidly about my fascination with the metaphysical connections between memory and experience, subjectivity and alternate histories, psychogeographic embodied energies, and sense of place in both landscape and social culture.
As a Canadian artist, I find that sense of space and the vastness of natural landscapes is as compelling as the layered energies of the world’s most dynamic cities. My paintings are created from my memories of places, atmospheres, landscapes, conversations, and relationships between people and natural elements. I feel a visceral response to my environment and the unbelievable beauty of the natural world, which I love to process through making and the resulting sensory pleasure of creation.
For me, painting is also a tool for exploration of philosophical questions. By imagining and making an abstracted record of the invisible veil of emotions, thoughts, conversations, or events that translate the energy of a place or a time into the reality of experience, I find a forum for negotiation between colour and light, memory and event, language and interpretation, dreams and waking life.
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Each brushstroke is the result of a dyadic conversation with the last, and within this relationship I search, reach, play, and strive to evoke a sense of place and being within a self-referential language of abstract mark making. When I’m painting, I aim to enter an alternate mental state in which I react more unconsciously, and to delight in maintaining that precarious balance between strong intention of purpose and gracious acceptance of spontaneity. I paint until I perceive a kind of harmonious vibration from the picture that makes it feel alive, as though I’d like to jump inside- as through a portal – to the undefinable sense of place I have conjured.
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By ‘artist’, I also mean to say that I’m an entrepreneur, community collaborator, experience designer, academically published essayist, author and illustrator of a children’s book, wilderness adventurer, artist-residency curator, and aspiring world traveler.
I studied Art History and Studio Art at the University of Guelph (Bachelor of Arts Degree, 2012), and Curatorial Studies in both the Contemporary Art & Venice Biennale programs at the European Cultural Academy in Venice, Italy (Certificate, 2017).
While I now work in traditional and contemporary techniques of oil paint on canvas or wood, I’ve been known to love working in gouache, ink, acrylic and water media, assemblage, found object sculpture, documented collections and display, environmental installation, collage, photographic essay, sound, video, social gesture, and design.
I very gratefully work from my studios in the northwestern wilds of the Niagara Escarpment and Lake Superior’s northeastern shore, two of a few very special locations where I am also developing a collaborative and thematically evolving Artist In Residence program.
is my curatorial project taking place in the immersive wilds of several international locations. Curated and self-directed residencies hosted in spectacular geographies of northeastern Ontario’s Lake Superior, the Niagara Escarpment in central Ontario, and New World Island off Newfoundland’s north shore, will expand in 2018-2019 to visiting residency programs in Italy’s Amalfi Coast near Ravello, and California’s High Mojave Desert near Joshua Tree.
The alchemy of unique landscapes and the interaction of the self with the wild provide a vast stage from which to explore and experience endless themes and modalities. Contemporary visual art and land-based conceptual art are ever-evolving conversations that I am excited to further in the support of both established and emerging artists at this unique time in global and environmental history.
Andy Warhol said “I think having land and not ruining it is the most beautiful art that anyone could ever want to own.” In land-use stewardship and art-based community building, I invite artists to bring their wildest dreams into untouched beauty for research, reflection, and creation.
I love making connections that foster creative collaboration and strengthen communities, I love creating and curating works for specific environments, and I love to talk about art. You too? Say hi!