I have been interested in art, especially drawing and painting my entire life. I started drawing at the age of five simply because the act of drawing was exhilarating to me and still very much is. Many things caught my interest while growing up, but I was never passionate about anything more than Art. I grew up in Western Pennsylvania, just outside of Pittsburgh and I am greatly appreciative of the influence that my location has had on my work.
Currently, the main focus of my creative work is plein air (outdoor) painting and capturing emotion along with the essence of a specific scene. I believe that my interest in the plein air style stems from my childhood, where I would often draw anything I found in front of me. Painting from life has always been important to me because I feel like I’m fully experiencing my subject while also truly observing the details and intricacies.
I paint every day and this causes me to have a lot of different subject matter, but they are all unified by my own personal and emotional connection. Most days when I start to paint, It 's very much like exploring the unknown. Once my paintbrush starts to move, in a way, I lose all sense of time and place. I'm only to focus on my subject and my canvas. All other happenings in my life, for a brief period of time, dissipate. In many ways, I find this beautiful, but is also viewed this as a double edged sword.
When I look at a scene, I examine the colors, break down the complexities into broad shapes, and mix the paint. All while paying close attention to the values. First, I usually render a small sketch to figure out general concept, composition and color masses before beginning a larger more in depth painting.
I try to work as quickly as possible, fighting against light changes and time. This results quick and spontaneous brush strokes that I believe capture the true effects of the color and light.
I am greatly inspired by artists like Edward Hopper, who conveyed a feeling loneliness and anxiety, while also capturing a familiar American environment. Another inspiration is American folk artist Grant Wood; I enjoy his stylized depictions of rural American Midwest. But no artist has has a larger impact on my work than Pittsburgh landscape painter Ron Donoughe . Donoughe seems to be focused on capturing an intensity of feeling in his work that comes from only being in a particular place at a particular time. I have these artists and many more in the back of my mind every time I start a painting. They greatly influence my process and help me get across the messages and feelings I want to convey.
“If you can say it with words, there would be no reason to paint it.” – Edward Hopper
I started constructing this overly large cardboard chimpanzee in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the stay at home order was difficult, it was necessary, and it did present the gift of time. As a practicing artist, you quickly realize how valuable time really is. To me, it felt wrong to waste that gift. The Chimpanzee is still in search of a home as of now. Special Thanks to PTL & KDKA for their reporting.