My artwork consists of drawing, painting, jewelry silver smithing, and ceramics. To some, it may seem like a lot of different areas to work in for one person, but each one helps me to be a better-skilled artist in the other. Two-dimensional work such as drawing and painting help my design skills. I am able to lay out ideas and experiment with colors and textures. Three-dimensional work such as metalsmithing and ceramics help me to think and see objects more three-dimensionally.
I enjoy painting landscapes, ranch scenes, and wildlife primarily in oils or acrylics. I prefer to paint in realism because, for me, the real challenge is to portray the subject in its natural habitat in a way that it appears living rather than stiff and flat. I enjoy the effort it takes to capture, with pencil or brush, the tension in an animal’s muscles as it is preparing to spring into action, or just the right glint of light in an eye that conveys either a soft, relaxed state or a sharp alertness.
Creating pieces of jewelry is fairly new to me, but I sincerely enjoy making wearable, three-dimensional works of art in precious metals and stone. I tend to work somewhat more loosely and creatively on some of my jewelry work. Something about the shine of the metal and the colors of the stones demands experimentation in design to avoid creating more of the ordinary or typical.
Creating ceramic pieces gives me the opportunity to really get my hands into my work. I love creating functional, useful art, and I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t appreciate a nice piece of hand-thrown pottery. Similar to making jewelry, ceramics demands more three-dimensional designing and planning ahead. Working with ceramics has been artistically therapeutic for me in that so many things can go wrong anywhere in the process of creating a successfully finished piece that I have to be prepared to throw a piece away and start again. It has helped me to realize that starting over with a piece just means that I am getting more much-needed practice, which makes the sacrifice worth it.
Growing up in the northwest, I developed a special fondness and appreciation for nature scenes and wildlife. When I look at a stream, trees, wildlife, rock formations, or even the moss growing on a rock, I see so many abstracted shapes, forms, and tremendous variations of colors and textures. While walking along a forest path, it is amazing to me that a different, exciting view presents itself at every turn. I am fascinated by and thankful for every detail. I consider my artwork to be a celebration of creation, not necessarily a mirror-image imitation. I believe that creating works of art depicting nature gives me the opportunity to learn my craft from the Master Artist.