Summer Portfolio

Figure “Drawing”
2011 Summer Portfolio
University of North Florida


“The Cookie Jar”

22” x 30” Pastel on Cotton Rag

A voyeuristic scene experienced through an open bedroom door.  The viewer could be a wife walking in on her husband with another woman or simply a peak into a private world.  The crisis stems from the viewer’s perspective.  We experience this scene as an un-welcomed visitor who is a split second away from being noticed. 

I chose wheat cotton rag paper which gave the image a nostalgic feel and soft pastels for a dreamlike quality. 

The scene is rendered in a Hopperesque style with a bright fixed light source.

My initial inspirations stem from John Sargent, Edwin Lord Weeks, Gustave Caillebotte, Degas, Hopper and have evolved to the Bay Area movement of the 1950’s-60’s…  Artists like Elmer Bischoff, Richard Diebenkorn, David Park and Henry Villierme.

I strive to create fast work with bold brush strokes and a spontaneously chosen palette.  I seek to capture the moment “I” experience, rather than the moment as it actually occurred.

I like large portraiture and powerful, life size images.  I seek to understand and utilize psychological color to subliminally nudge the viewer towards conceptual meaning.


“American Dreamland”

22” x 30” Gouache on Grey Cotton Rag

American Dreamland is a commentary piece on society; the more things change, the more they stay the same—the insatiable human desire.

The concept is based on a Brett Easton Ellis novel, “Less than Zero”.   The inspiration styling stems from the pulp fiction magazines of the 1950’s-60’s with hints of the Bay Area Movement of this same period. 

The landscape has a bright surrealistic wash of sunlight which is literally rising from below and devouring the scene, meanwhile the figures maintain a dark moonlit illumination.  This is a nod to the contradictions commonly found in perception and reality.  The words, “Disappear Here” (Less than Zero) are carved into the background.  A man dressed in a business suit stands in front of his castle stoically surveying the horizon for more material wealth.  His beautiful wife, house and pool dissolve into the background.  They are symbols of previous battles won and consequentially worthless trophies of the past.

“The Caterpillar Catastrophe”

22” x 30” Gouache on Cotton Rag

I like to use imagery which draws the viewer closer to the scene.  Last year I did a painting of a subject in a bathtub filled with a red substance which appeared to be a suicide attempt.  Upon closer inspection the subject is merely taking a bath in J-ELLO and anxiously waiting for it to congeal with a large spoon.  I found this image humorous, but also telling of things not always being as they appear.

This painting portrays a figure sewing a potentially mortal wound while holding a stop watch. Again there appears to be a red substance, an open wrist and a bathroom.

This time the subject is sewing a wound versus slitting his wrist, which I associate with a close-call and new beginning or rebirth.

“What the caterpillar sees as the end, the butterfly knows is only the beginning”

The red thread is used referencing the Chinese legend, The Red Thread of Fate.  In  this legend there is a mythological being who sews the souls of the world together with a thin, nearly invisible red silk thread…we are one, we are all connected.





“Political Theology”

30″ x 69″ Gouache on Cotton Rag

Political Theology is a triptych of vertically composed 22” x 30” sheets of gray cotton rag.  Uniformly the sheets make a large American flag in the background and three Presidential portraits in the foreground.

The sheets represent the major political changes from the 1970’s to the present or what could alternately be interpreted as a lack of change.

To me this work is more about the viewer’s experience and reaction to the figures than my own political views.  I think of politics on the same lines as I do religion.  The majority of our population is so programmed from birth to believe what they are told without questioning the validity of these justifications that any other view points are readily dismissed.

The images I have chosen are iconic and nearly stereotypical.  Nixon and Obama represent polar opposites, yet maintain a relationship such as kindred spirits. 

These figures flank an almost smirking Clinton who I intended to act as a balance or fulcrum point.

Nixon stands grinning ear to ear with his standard issue peace sign salute, while Obama huddles for cover under an umbrella…