Landscape Series (2009-2015)

‘The Western prairie is peculiar in how it dichotomizes our sentiments and accordingly reverberates the dilemmas of being human. Luminous distant horizons play on our disposition to yearn, to seek greener grass on the other side. Empty expansive land simultaneously entices and estranges, evoking the feeling of our insignificance as well as the desire to lay claim and create permanence. A riverbed contains us and in an open field above, we escape.’

My work is an exploration into our human relationship to this landscape, revealed by how the viewer visually navigates the juxtaposition of light and dark, containment and expanse, diversion and obstacle. As each viewer responds to an image, they must subconsciously reconcile their own place, belonging, identity and purpose within land.

The draw of aesthetic beauty is used but not without some disturbance, a distraction, an uncertain event about to happen, an obstacle that offsets our attraction to that which we find comfortable and beautiful. Land is viewed within the context of a power line, a trailer home, through the rib cage of a dead calf, or behind a steadfast staring cow. The process of painting is not to edit that which is ugly and enhance that which is pleasant. What we romanticize in landscape and reduce to decoration is subverted. It is intended that the viewer be slightly uneasy. 

Ultimately the image of Western landscape is stripped down to it’s more stark and desolate reality. These works are an attempt to capture the essential character of Western plains, a landscape that is both complementary and oppositional, light and dark, empowering and humbling, inviting and foreboding. In the act of viewing we wander into these scenes, down a fence line or along a cattle trail. The viewer becomes subjected to and isolated within landscape of the painting, faced with the provocation of infinite diverging pathways, as well as the complicity of our human involvement.’
Impressionism (2003-2007)

‘My paintings during my late high school and early university years were predominantly impressionistic. They were not so interested in detail, visual depth, or concept, but rather colour and light. By 2004 I began to incorporate perspective and spatial depth into this style, slowly moving away from the colourful palette. In 2007 I transferred from McGill University to Concordia University and enrolled in a first year drawing class. At this point my paintings was problematic and unresolved. My new interest in spacial dimension and my impressionistic style were in conflict with each other.’
Ceramics (2010-2014)

‘As an apprenticed ceramist and functional potter, my sculptures combine the principles of formalism with concepts that I developed as a painter. Again, I am interested in how the eye travels around the profile of a 3d form and is drawn into it. Simplified bison-like figures and cow carcasses deconstruct the culturally iconic rodeo-bull, longhorn cow, and the native bison. These forms aim to encourage questioning of culturally inherited ideas of nature and agriculture.’

I began to minimize my palette, removing and simplifying colours that had flattened the canvas and using line and light to create volume and depth. An increasing facination with perspective, illusion of visual depth, space, and the manner that the eye travelled inwards  persisted until my graduation, after which I fully embraced the study of landscape and the issues and complexities of the human: land relationship.’

Wood as Canvas and Technique

‘Each image reveals itself through an intimate process between artist and material. Wood is worked upon without being overly modified.  Hundreds of thin translucent layers of diluted oils are gradually built up, filling the grain to create a surface where the layers of pigment and the natural figure of the wood combine. Essentially the process is wet sanding with a brush and with pigment. 

The outcome is a negotiation between the interpretation of the artist and the natural characteristics of the material.’
Western Art Renaissance (2015 onwards)

‘I am interested in a juxtaposition of the romantic portrayal of Western prairie with contemporary realities. A plastic bag blows in the wind on a barbwire fence, oil pools before the silhouette of an oil jack, a herd of ear-tagged buffalo stand within the confines of a feedlot, a cowboy pushes a grocery cart down the dusty trail.  The popular image of the west, saturated with rural nostalgia, cowboy mysticism and the romanticized native ‘indian’ is subversively challenged. As an artist, I see my role as a visual journalist, seeking to observe and include that which most often goes edited in the making of our Western self-image.’