Since my childhood the impulse has always been there to interpret the world in a visual way. At the same time my need to probe for a deeper understanding of the nature of things stems from being raised by two scientist parents (a biochemist and an archaeologist) with an endless curiosity about the world around them. Growing up in the suburbs of Washington D.C. provided unlimited access to the great art and science museums of the Smithsonian and awakened the sense of mystery in me which is still at the core of what motivates me to create.
As a child, I spent many extraordinary summers exploring the woods around my grandparent’s home along the Susquehanna River in York County, Pennsylvania, collecting insects, bones, old bottles and all kinds of interesting artifacts. Experiencing the cycles of life, death, growth and decay first hand in this natural realm opened my sense of the wholeness of things in a way the suburbs couldn’t have. It had a profound effect on me and is what ultimately drew me back here over 30 years ago to raise a family and paint. Our farm, the surrounding natural landscape and my family are starting points for almost all the concepts I explore in my paintings.
Insects, the Susquehanna River, fences, doorways and empty rooms, although a familiar part of my surroundings, take on deeper significance, representing such things as change and transformation, the ephemeral, the precariousness and uncertainty of life’s journey and the mysteries of life’s cycles and rituals. The plumes of steam from nearby Three Mile Island nuclear power plant, jet trails, power lines and roadways which divide up the surrounding land and skyscape, suggest in my work the imposition of human activity on an increasingly fragile ecosystem, something I live with on a daily basis as urban sprawl continues to creep out into the rural countryside from nearby cities.
Over the last decade my paintings have moved increasingly in the direction of dealing metaphorically with these broader themes inspired by real places, experiences and memories. The most common and everyday occurrences, places and things are transformed into the universal, allowing me, through my work, to examine and confront the issues I face as an artist, parent, spouse and as a participant in life at this particular time in history.