Can you tell me a little bit about you?
I am originally from Canada, but I currently reside in San Diego, CA. I studied at the University of Connecticut where I received my MFA IN 2001. I took a number of years off from art making, but I’ve been back in studio of two years now.
When did you first discover art, or realize you wanted to make it yourself?
4 yrs old. There has been no doubt since.
What do you like most about working where you do?
The weather. I can work with the big overhead studio door open year round. Plus, the paint dries really, really fast!
What ideas are you exploring in your practice?
It’s painting about painting… has been for most of my career. I’m very interested in support/surface and how paint can literally be applied to a panel, canvas, plexi, etc. Color and movement also factor heavily into my most recent work.
What is your process like?
A typical piece takes 3-3.5 hrs. It’s immediate. I prepare the surface, the color and my application tools and execute the painting rapidly, making decisions on the fly. The gel dries quickly so I must find the composition within a compressed time frame.
What is the strangest thing you’ve ever had to do for art?
I paid for virtually all my painting supplies in undergraduate school by picking pop cans. I would dig through the trash cans on campus, collect the recyclables and cash em in.
Do you have a day job or other work that you split your time between?
Like so many others, I am an adjunct lecturer and have been for 16 yrs.
Do you have a mentor, or a piece of advice (or both), which has influenced your practice?
Professor Gerald Hushlak formally of the University of Calgary got the ball rolling for me. In graduate school I was heavily influenced by Saul Ostrow who served on my graduate committee. Oh ya, I’m also a huge Frank Stella fan!
Is there any piece of advice you would offer to others?
Don’t wait for your ship to come in, roll out to meet it.
Success is really a matter of hanging on when others have let go.
What does it mean to you to have a “community?”
I’m a hermit in terms of how I work, but I’m a big believer in both a strong non-profit and commercial arts community. Things are very limited in San Diego and I miss having an artistic hub of energy and action.
What is your studio like?
Small but functional. I work out of a converted garage. I would say it’s approx. 300 sq ft. I’m forced to keep work on the small side but overall it’s meeting my needs.
Do you have any routines or rituals in the studio that get you into the mode or mindset to make your work?
Typically I work from 11am to about 2 or 3pm. Completely quiet. No music, no distractions, no breaks… except for water. I go in and I get er done.
How significant has attending art school been on your practice?
My work has changed a great deal from graduate school. I find my understanding and ability to communicate ideas about my work as probably one of the biggest things I took away from my studies. I’m a much, much better writer.
What do you find most daunting, challenging, or frustrating about pursuing art?
Space, connections and money. Time can be tough as well, but finding adequate space at a reasonable cost can be incredibly difficult. Social media helps but making connections to the major artistic hubs is also still a challenge.
How would you define “success” in art?
Making a greater financial contribution to the family income. I’d like for my wife to take a breather… she keeps things afloat. She’s my biggest fan so I’d like to make things easier for her.
What is the most exciting thing you’ve done or accomplished so far, related to your work?
Finally getting some exposure in NYC with Krause Gallery as well as opening my work up to audiences in my native Canada via Galerie Robertson Ares in Montréal.
What are you working on right now?
Currently I am working on a group of paintings which I have loosely titled the Envelop Series. Small/medium scaled, sensuous pieces that are fluid, spontaneous and rich in their surface qualities.