Location: United States
I have been interested in the natural world since childhood. I was fortunate to grow up in Miami's lush tropical environment when it was pristine, before all of the uncontrolled growth and the negatives that come with it. My sister and I spent summers at the beaches and the parks, wading through the water searching for shells, starfish and sea urchins, learning about the environment that is unique to South Florida.
My artistic inspiration is drawn from Nature; not merely a superficial admiration of the beauty of a particular scene but an intimate appreciation for Nature’s cycles of growth and entropy and the challenges they bring to all living things. The intricate interrelationships of climate, geography, flora and fauna provide an endless source of subject matter for my work.
I studied art in college, graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Florida Atlantic University. Upon graduation, I was left with the realization that a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts did not prepare me for a career as an artist and that an artist’s education is a lifelong pursuit.
My single most significant educational experience was my apprenticeship to the artist, Joe Nicastri, whose talent and direction helped me to ground my ideas into a creative process that had relevance to me and continuity in the long-term. My apprenticeship was modeled after that of the Renaissance artists, who insisted that their students focus on drawing alone for a period of seven years, the length of time they determined it took to reach a level of mastery.
I too spent seven years drawing increasingly intricate graphite landscapes in the pointillist style. Eventually I began working in color, utilizing acrylics applied with an airbrush, the closest approximation of my drawing technique. With time and experimentation, I expanded into watercolors because of the element of spontaneity the medium contributes to the painting process. Then I discovered sumi'e ink as a medium to paint the black and white images I had come to love during the years of my apprenticeship but with the added element of spontaneity that comes from a water-based medium. I now use traditional brushes in combination with the airbrush, acrylics, sumi’e ink and watercolors. It is the imagery that dictates the methods and the materials but it is I who chooses the imagery in the first place and in the end.
The complex images I create of trees, roots, and foliage are a metaphor for the human experience. Through some mysterious vortex we are born into a web of familial relationships that nourishes and molds us, contributing to our individuality for better or worse; the launching point for the choices and challenges we will inevitably face within the laws of society and the Laws of Nature. What we make of these raw materials is a measure of our creative intelligence, our grit and our values.
This is the second painting inspired by the aftermath of a Hurricane that damaged Key Biscayne, turning Bear Cut into a driftwood graveyard.