For the past ten years my work has been mainly figurative. It is primarily through the human body that I find the base of my inspiration and feel an intense curiosity to explore all aspects of the human form. I've consistently been interested in medical texts and have always found a mysterious quality in the way art and science have meshed through documentation of the human body. This has created a pattern throughout my painting with attention to detail and macabre realism.
My work has been greatly influenced by figurative sculpture, primarily sculpture found in the landscape. I enjoy the way nature, in a sense, takes a brush to the stone and marble adding character and personality. Subsequently, old cemeteries became the inspiration for a lot of my paintings. I view these places as beautiful sculpture gardens that have been transformed and molded by time and the elements. It is the imperfections that time itself has created that I try to reproduce on canvas, from the cracks in the stone, the broken fingers and wings, to the moss colored marble and bronze that has been stained by leaves and rain. My subject matter is very up-close and personal while the landscape remains a blur, a mystery.
I feel very strongly about the preservation of these sculptures and for the past fifteen years I have traveled through New England and mainly the Southeast photographing and documenting historic cemeteries. It's not death that brings me to these peaceful places, but life. It is the awesome presence of nature ? the towering oaks, the winding vines and climbing ferns, the sweet smell of jasmine ? that compliments these pieces of artwork so well. It's the true craftsmanship and slow, yet inevitable deterioration that attracts me to these strong, immortal statues that stand so graceful and quiet. Unlike modern cemeteries, I find the nineteenth century romantic view of death to be very intriguing and beautiful. I feel that in painting these nostalgic figures I'm preserving a piece of history that should be recognized and appreciated.
Although my recent work remains mainly figurative, I've incorporated more symbolism and surrealism into my paintings. Many of my pieces contain butterflies and moths. Many cultures around the world have regarded butterflies and moths as symbols of the human soul. Their miraculous transformation from caterpillar to winged adult, after spending time in the coffin-like chamber of the chrysalis, reinforces their symbolism of rebirth and life after death. Carvings of these insects also appear on tombstones representing the spirits of the departed.
Anatomical and medical influences have also become much more apparent in my work. My paintings have become very theatrical with surgeon's hands manipulating and dissecting the sculptures and objects they control. The surgeon's hand becomes more like a magician's hand, transforming the stage into an operating theatre and creating my new series of paintings I now call "The Grotesque Theatre Series." I ultimately try to create images that evoke pure human emotion by tuning into the pain, passion and the spirit of life.