How I Got Started

I came to oil painting in a roundabout manner. About a year after graduating from MIT, I founded a publisher's production company that provided editorial, layout, design, and illustration services to large textbook publishing companies. When my children came along, I created Little City Kids, a preschool and childcare center that focused on teaching children through hands-on art projects. While I've always been active in the arts, I didn't start painting until 2012, when I took my first painting class. And I am hooked! I'm fascinated by the magic of the paint, and watching the images emerge from the canvas. I enjoy the discovery process, and pushing the limits of traditional art. 

Each of my paintings is a poem that addresses a social, political or cultural issue, with a sense  of optimism and hope. This applies both to my figurative work and my cityscrapes, although the processes are strikingly different. 

My figures are generally focused on beautiful people facing ”challenges.” The beauty of the subject is always challenged by the underlying “problem”, but the strength of the subject perseveres and the message becomes one of hope. 

My cityscrapes capitalize on the same heroic instinct. In these images, the city itself is the protagonist, faced by it’s own incongruity. I deconstruct my cityscrapes using rollers and knives, scrapers and sponges, to blend ugly into beauty, until each piece becomes a story about the light and the motion and the energy of the city. 

There is something magical that occasionally happens, when all the stars align, when the paint does the work and and makes the image appear. When I create my cityscrapes, I’m not so much painting, as setting up opportunities for the paint to make magic. Using cradled wood panels, gessoed three times and sanded smooth, I measure out and delineate the geometry of the street scene I’m recreating. I start applying layer after layer of resist and paint, using rollers and palette knives, then scraping the excess away with a squeegee. Each application carves out more structures, darkening shadows, enhancing the geometry, eliminating as much of the unnecessary information as possible. When the piece reaches a density, a solidity, that feels true, I add in the characters, the cars, the trees, painting these details with a brush, then blending them into the background with a roller.