Artist StatementPainting allows me to map and organize contrasting forces that pull on my existence in a densely populated urban environment. Living in Baltimore, by way of rural Alabama, the friction that is apparent in daily life constantly creates a new understanding of how humans coexist as a means to live. My experiences being raised in a progressive home in a conservative and theological stronghold formed impressions of how life should be led. This extends into the realms of race relations, religion, and socio-economical views. My time teaching public high school for 13 years has brought issues of education and inherited family values under this umbrella in a way that has made me question how the our trajectory as a society will affect future generations. The initial shock upon moving to Baltimore created a break with my preconceived notions through experiencing the depraved and desperate measures that humans will use to survive. The idea of the utopian is instilled in us during our training phases to help peak our optimism and insure our endurance. The environments in which we prepare can afford this illusion because of isolation or privilege. In my upbringing, as well as in my training for teaching, this has been the case. In both instances it has resulted in a jarring reality check when principles are tested in live situations and lofty ideals are forsaken by means that are practical and functional. The pairing down to essentials aligns itself with pursuits in that one must learn much to eliminate some. The utter struggle is the source of the beauty. If one is resolved to take the rough road they must enjoy the ride. Although my work is informed by the anxiety of uncertainty and is dense like the bombardment of stimuli, it is important that the composition and the color portray the sublime that results from that friction.
I currently live in Baltimore, Maryland. I'm from Alabama. I like to paint.