I paint people to understand, enjoy, love, confront, and explain people in my life as well as the people I don't know personally who, from a distance, delight, fascinate, or infuriate me. My theater background taught me to examine a character internally and externally and then make the character real using specific inner motivations along with carefully crafted external postures, expressions, and rhythms. I am now drawing on this theatrical approach when painting people.
In theater and in painting, I have always been partial to comedy; it’s a brilliant and effective means of expression to show how heartfelt, tragic, hilarious, and absurd we humans can be. With my paintings, I hope to portray our authentic human absurdities with love and a bit of wit. It’s a tricky and delightful challenge!
Improvisational theater showcases the joy of spontaneity and fearless exploration; but, like jazz, improvisational theater actually has an essential structure underlying the performance of “something wonderful right away.” This structure gives spontaneous explorations coherence and allows artistic choices to gain clarity by building upon each other. My background in improvisational theater speaks to how I paint: big, bold, figurative abstracts; cartoonish and flirty drawings that become paintings with masses of color and unafraid brush work; figurative beginnings improvised to abstraction.
I paint because it’s fun. It’s a process of answering questions and improvising solutions, acknowledging the original figure by observing the lines and shapes and then playing with the motion and rhythm and how the shapes fit together and push and pull on each other, all the time wrestling with how to address the drama and the calm.
When people look at my paintings, I want them to follow the lines, colors and shapes and be curious as they discover figurative and non-objective elements and surprises. I want them to enjoy the expressive lines, notice the movement and texture of the brush strokes, and be thrilled with the colors. I want them to be entertained and see spontaneity through a new lens.