So much of my work is influenced by the environment and the many challenges that we face as a planet today. When creating a piece, I often base it around an event or climate disaster that has happened recently somewhere in the world. My goal is to compose imagery based on these ideas that highlight the event through the lens of landscape painting and create a seductive and beautiful image that draws the viewer in and encourages them to learn more about the inspiration for each piece.
Through this research, I learn about the specifics of the environmental events and use them as iconography throughout the piece. For example, in my piece Cathedral of the Woods which I created in January 2020, I was inspired by the events of the Notre Dame Cathedral fire in 2019, the sweeping media coverage that seemed to overwhelm my feeds at the time, as well as the tragic and record-breaking forest fires of 2019 that swept through Australia, and the West Coast of the United States whose damage and impact was often overlooked.
This imagery inspired me to create Cathedral of the Woods in which I seek to capture and sanctify the multi-tonal light cast through the silhouetted trees, reminiscent of stained glass. Merging three moments, before, during, and after the fire into one scene I work to highlight the awe-inspiring beauty and devastation encapsulated in the forest post-burn. This desolate moment is seen through the eyes of a lone Jackrabbit emerging into an unrecognizable landscape that it once knew as home. The still truly wild places, which admittedly are disappearing more and more by day, are the places that truly inspire me most. Those places that you can interact with the raw beauty, ferocity, danger, and gentile spirit of nature and feel small, like that jackrabbit.
Those wild places where I can feel alone surrounded by such power that's what inspires me, and through my work that's what I hope I am able to show people and help them connect with. I guess my hope is my viewer can feel that inspiration that motivates me. I hope that my work inspires people to look deeper into those pockets of pure nature that still exist and be aware of the moments that we intrude on them and poison them with our machinery and our power supplies and our constant need for growth.Growth is good but only when it is done with respect for the home that we exist on and share with so many other species. I hope that my work allows people to have an emotional empathy-driven connection to these events affecting our planet, and the few still truly wild places.