Tell me a little bit about you!
I’m currently based on Vancouver Island in Canada. I am an abstract painter as well as an experimental musician. Formally, I have been trained as a visual artist though. I have a BFA from the University of British Columbia Okanagan and an MFA from NSCAD University.
When did you first discover art, or realize you wanted to make it yourself?
Interestingly I got to art through music which was my focus all throughout high school. I played in many bands and musical projects and eventually I somehow found myself at art school. My intention was probably to work a little on my art talents while still focussing on music. But art school was really when I was turned on to the idea of pursuing a life in visual art (as well as music – I still play music).
What ideas are you exploring in your practice?
Abstraction, improvisation, and ambiguity have always been central to my practice. There are often tangent ideas that I hold onto lightly and just out of my peripheral vision. Currently those tangent ideas are: outer space, zen philosophy, and symmetrical compositions.
What is your process like?
There is really no research and definitely no planning in my process. Everything is a reaction to what is established in the painting one step at a time. I usually have several paintings of different sizes on the go at one time.
Do you have a mentor, or a piece of advice (or both), which has influenced your practice?
I don’t really have a mentor but I suppose that an artist that I hold to “hero” status would be Philip Guston. I also often think of the Daniel Richter quote “Beauty through confusion, Truth through collision.”
Describe your studio.
My studio is in a converted garage in my house. It is a constant battle to deal with paintings on the go, finished paintings to be stored, and the frames and materials of to-be-constructed paintings. And spiders – there are lots of spiders.
What do you find most daunting, challenging, or frustrating about pursuing art?
The most challenging thing about pursuing art is in continually finding ways to continue (especially in the face of so many practical reasons to stop). Balancing studio time with day-job time and family time and continuing to make work when it often seems like no one is noticing takes a degree of persistence, resilience, (and perhaps a touch of naivety) that is often hard to muster.
If you could sit down for dinner or a drink with anyone, who would it be and what would you chat about?
Dan Walsh. I’d ask him about how he is able to continually make me swoon from his paintings.
What are three words you would use to describe your work?
Improvisation. Ambiguity. Abstraction.
What do you do when you find yourself in a creative rut?
Keep making work. Even if it’s bad. I’ve never gotten out of a rut by sitting around and waiting for an idea to pop up about how to get out of that rut.
What do you love most about your medium? What challenges or surprises you most about it?
Acrylic painting is SO versatile, even more so that oil in my opinion. I love that the quick drying time forces quick decision making and allows for no-consequence layering.
What do you need or value most as an artist?
Paintings that slow down time and are continually engaging in unexpected ways.
What keeps you creating?
Thinking about my life from the perspective of the galaxy – how insignificant my day-to-day is in the wider perspective. So why not create art?
What are you working on right now?
Beginning some work that roughly uses the ideas of a window to approach the other subjects I’ve mentioned.
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