My grandfather was a painter. In the late 1880’s he sailed across the Atlantic to study at the Beaux Arts in Paris. As a child I would spend summers with him. When I was three, he showed me my mother’s early drawings and asked if I would like to draw. I asked for pencil and paper.
My great aunt, Jane Peterson was also a painter. I fell in love with oil colors on her palette in the sunlight; bright cadmium yellows, greens and oranges. I found the smell of turpentine exhilarating and sexy.
I am captivated by faces — people’s body language, their expressions. One of the kindest men I know, has a perennial scowl on his face; it’s his mask of protection, he appears angry and unapproachable, he is neither. We all wear masks to cover our vulnerabilities. Sitting for a portrait, defenses fall away, revealing the true grace of a person.
My paintings are about this interactive connection between myself and the person being depicted; the wordless communication that leads to a work that is not only a likeness, but ‘feels like’ the person portrayed and reveals deeper insights into their personality.
In a successful work, the desired result will be true communication with the viewer.
Note on Acrylite: Acrylite is luminous like film; it has a transparency that holds light and is brought in and held by the edges.