I was born in Madison and grew up in rural Wisconsin, normally referred to as “God’s Country” in our house. After studying art at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and the University of Minnesota, I veered off to the Atelier Lack in Minneapolis where I continued four years of tutelage under Steven Gjerston.
Over the years I think the biggest influence on my art has simply been the opportunity to get to know people from different parts of the world and many walks of life. After decades of observation I’m certain of a few things. I’m continually moved by the strength, complexity and beauty of the human spirit. I’m fascinated by what makes us tick and enamored with trying to visually communicate the complexity of the soul. My work is for those who sense and appreciate the same mysteries I explore. I consider you fellow compatriots, thus you compel me to continue this exploration. If, over time, some of my work contributes to deepening our vision, that indeed would be quite a reward.
So what does it look like when the subject of a piece of art is the act of decision making … or the struggle for acceptance, or the healing of a broken relationship? These deeply personal themes and their reconciliation are the subject of my work. I depict moments in life where change is occurring. I examine the area between the physical and spiritual, between earthly and heavenly realms. The Greeks use the term metanoia to describe a turning from and turning to, a breaking down and building up again. This metanoia can be the result of an intense emotional struggle, or it can take place when simply sipping a cup of coffee in a cafe. To me, these moments and their accompanying stories are the most fascinating part of the human experience. Each piece of my art is like a page from a book, and each page speaks of a vivid, specific instance in our ongoing wrestling with the human condition.
In the drawing “Nobody takes buses anymore” an attractive woman rides a sparsely filled bus at night. While contained by the metal of the seats and poles, she appears in some way detached from the physical, caught instead in a world of introspection. Perhaps her reflection in the window provides a hint of resolve.
While to some my work appears photographic, closer inspection reveals a softness of every edge. These delicate transitions allow for more interpretation and support the idea that things are not quite as they first seem. Even the surface of my paintings are smooth, bearing few visible marks. My hope is that the unobtrusive surface emphasizes the subject and diminishes the act of painting. This supports my feeling that as much as it can, a piece of art should stand on it’s own, distancing itself from it’s maker. At the end of the day it’s not about what I think, it’s about what each piece has to say to the viewer.
Nobody Takes Buses Anymore
Charcoal and pencil on paper, 49” x 33”