My Artist Statement
Portraying the living, breathing flesh is what drives me to paint. I have a deep interest in the elegance and beauty of the figure, especially its many strange and alluring facets. My work is motivated by people, life, pop culture and religion. The majority of my work is focused around the fusion of figurative studies and icons. Byzantine iconography and religious art is especially influential to me because of the methods, techniques and symbolism involved. I have also discovered a deep love of egg tempera, a mystical medium that has always been so intriguing to master. The laborious preparation process is equally as important to my work as the finished painting. So, by priming my own panels with traditional gesso and ground, and grinding my own pigment into paint, truly takes me back to the foundation of what enticed me to be an artist.
When I’m working on an icon, I practice all of the ancient tempera techniques. I’m attracted to using gold leafing because I’m drawn to the texture, luster and luminous quality that can enhance a figure aesthetically and symbolically by isolating it from the background. I enjoy juxtaposing the gold leaf around the entire human figure and I want the figure to be enveloped in this glowing richness of the gold. When I’m not working on icons, I lean towards oil painting and watercolor, as I work on images of real people who I personally know with a deeper connection. Simply put, I want to place the figure onto a higher, divine pedestal, which is doused in the same atmospheric light as God.