My current work is a series of contemporary works on paper (watercolors) of objects, that I choose because of their shape, color, patina, and personal or social significance that I enhance through the processes of portrayal and painting. They have been described as humorous, unsettling, and engaging. I render each object as a representational abstraction, allowing each object to transform through the act of painting. Mindful of the transformations, I often subtly enhance individualistic qualities or characteristics with anthropomorphic qualities, imbuing the objects with subtle changes of character. I reference each object with a title and number, using the titles to enhance or subtly change the conceptualization of each object.
I liken each object much the same as a museum artifact on exhibit with the paper support as the display case or vitrine. Viewers coming to each painting or “exhibit” as I prefer to think of them, must create their own conceptualizations of each exhibit and title. Without reference or guidance from a curator, interpreter, or signage, each “exhibit” is open to individual interpretation, allowing the viewer their own inferenceand what they bring to each work.
Artist Bio / CV
I recently moved from Chicago and now reside in northwestern Indiana where I continue teaching and making art. I grew up in a small farming community in Northern Illinois. After military service, I graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where I studied lithography, photomechanical lithography, oil painting, drawing, and sculpture.
Early in my career I painted in oil and encaustic, but felt a desire to work in more challenging mediums and began experimenting with watercolors. Since 1988, I have worked almost exclusively in that medium. I continue to find the medium of watercolor to be challenging and rewarding. My latest works on paper (watercolors), begun during 2003 is a series titled The Little Things. The paintings in this series are of small objects found around my neighborhood, home, and studio.
My first series in watercolor ran from 1989 to 2003 and featured paintings of Chicago’s viaducts, roadways, and bridge structures. A later series, again in watercolor combined interior strctural architecture with tropical plants found in the Chicago botanical conservatories of Lincoln Park and Garfield Park.
Early in my career, while making art, I worked as a museum preparator and exhibit project coordinator at the Field Museum of Chicago, The John G. Shedd Aquarium, and The Chicago Children's Museum. Since then, I have taught watercolor painting and drawing at Columbia College Chicago, printmaking at Gallery 37 for Anchor Graphics and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, and watercolor painting, drawing, and painting for Gallery 37 and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. I now teach art at Indiana University South Bend.