I grew up in the deep south and was introduced to art by my Aunt Bett, who made these amazing, intricate paintings of swamps in a little studio she mapped out in her dining room. Her attention to detail in everything from the plant and animal life to the algae-covered water made a huge impression on me. This launched my pursuit of drawing and painting with a focus on realism that continues today. In art school I practiced traditional drawing and painting, focusing on portraits, figures and landscapes. Later, I got into narrative as a way to explore themes inspired by my interest in film.
In art school, you think of your work ending up in galleries and museums. In practice, most of your stuff will end up in homes. I’m happy with this and prefer this. Knowing that a painting is a part of someone else’s intimate living experience is reassuring. Helping bring harmony to a space or provide a contrast that sparks conversation over dinner is rewarding. Knowing that a child growing up around art will internalize it in ways we can’t imagine is fascinating. This is why I photograph my work in home settings. I want to help people visualize it in the context of their lives, hanging on their wall, next to their couch, with the afternoon light bringing out the colors.
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