I was born and raised in California and came from a science and maths background, but it took a desk job in Silicon Valley to make me realise I needed to learn to paint. I began by doing it mornings and weekends, and when life eventually led me to England, I took a quick detour through silversmithing before settling back into painting. After moving to The Malvern Hills in 2014, I became part of the art community surrounding Malvern Hills College while attending classes there with Kim Williams and Brian Gorst.
When my parents passed away that same year, I became preoccupied with the huge collection of family photographs I discovered in their garage. Many of the people in them were unidentified, but even those I knew came with surprises, like the candid snapshots of my grandmother that revealed an internal life that I had never been aware of as a child. Other photographs were so fascinating in their strangeness that I felt compelled to paint them over and over again. The whole collection became the focus for ideas about alienation, meaning, remembrance, public and private persona, longing, and so on. Ultimately, I began combining these ‘characters’ in scenes I borrow from other parts of my life, such as horror movies from my childhood, vintage advertisements, landscapes I’ve lived in, and paintings I have loved.
I combine all these elements in digital collages - it’s my way of sketching, making associations, experimenting, or working out compositions. It’s where I play with ideas. When I have a scene that resonates with me, I move on to develop it through various studies that might include cut outs and collage, notan studies, gouache, printmaking and oil sketches before being developed into full sized paintings.