I'm an artist working mostly in oil paint and charcoal. I love these materials because of their direct connection to the earth and the way they can be pushed around. I use mostly paper, matte board, unstretched canvas, or panel because in my mind these surfaces more disposable than a prepared canvas. This encourages freedom when I paint because I don't feel pressure to make a finished painting.
Lately the paintings have been small. I like that they invite one to get in close, both during the painting process and also when they're finished. Small paintings say what they want to say without overwhelming.
Recently I've been obsessed about being outside as much as possible. It's as if before I moved my studio into the trunk of my car, I had never truly been outside. There are a few places near my home that have become favorite spots to set up and paint uninterrupted for a few hours. Some of the elements might be recognizable across the work - the trees, the creek, the hills, the fields. Although the places feel familiar, I avoid using formulas and try to approach each painting differently. This way of painting feels safe and unsettling at the same time - "safe" because I feel at home in these places, "unsettling" because I never feel like I know what I'm doing. These are both good things.
The odd mix of familiarity and strangeness, of recognition and surprise, of the known and unknown, is interesting to me. It is primal to our human experience. Where in life this can create tension, stress, and anxiety, in painting I find these opposing forces come together in mysterious and beautiful ways.
All of the paintings, whether from life or imagined, have become a way of living a life and of learning to pay attention. It dawned on me recently that the careful attention of the artist is, in the end, love. When I'm successful and can get out of the way to let the paintings speak, I believe and hope they speak love.
I'm a life-long resident of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where I currently live, work and paint. For eight years I studied painting, drawing, and art history part-time while working at Millersville University. A key influence and mentor has been painter/teacher Robert Andriulli.
In 2018 I was selected by the Provincetown Community Compact for a three-week artist’s residency. For twenty-one days I lived without electricity and running water in a historic shack in the middle of the Provinceland Dunes. That gift of extended immersion in complete solitude and the opportunity to connect with Nature through painting has been utterly transformative and continues to affect me daily.