I have been working as an artist since I graduated from Oregon State University in 1998 with a Bachelor of Fine Art. While at OSU I focused my studies primarily on painting, but also worked in other mediums such as drawing, printmaking, and sculpture. I was fortunate to have been taught by a professor, Sandy Brooke, how to make my own paints. This introduction into the art of making paints has been a part of my life ever since and has taken me to places I would have never imagined.
My art has evolved over time as I constantly learn about materials and the processes in which they can be used. The creation process for me is one that combines the conscious and subconscious and the materials help guide and reveal the mysteries of color, form, and texture. As a painter, I work in an open manner to allow for the materials themselves to shine within the light. Over the years I have made my own paints using many of the modern pigments made by humanity, but I have also become fascinated by the traditional pigments composed of minerals and plants that are being overshadowed by the global economy and contemporary material culture.
As I have evolved as an artist, I have also explored other realms beyond the confines of the art studio such as public art, land art, and environmental art. By very nature of my own mind, I am never satisfied with just one art form nor do I want to be categorized as just a painter. Working independently within a confined space provides the time to explore the inner depths of art and my personal relationship to it, but I am also interested in how the creative process can be used to educate and collaborate with others in schools, cultural centers, and public space.
EDUCATOR & EXPLORER
I am an artist, educator, and explorer not only for materials, but also for the connection of people to the places that nourish cultural identity. Art is not necessary for physical survival, but it does feed the mind and soul.. Understanding the relationship between materials that humanity has discovered form the unique landscapes where they originate from have ultimately given form to the cultural diversity that exists today.
My interests are in creating a dialogue about the role of art in society and its relationship to cultural development. I also believe that the role of artists in society is to question the world that we live in, but should also celebrate the beauty that exists around us. Traditional art throughout the world was created from natural materials that were used raw or processed in some form or another and were environmentally sustainable. These materials also gave birth to culture and the art forms that were created by centuries of human ingenuity.
As the world has become a global economy and the materials we use are created in far off places by unknown processes and materials we must ask ourselves how we can create not just a sense of place, but also a culture rooted in place. It is now more important then ever to think about the impacts of the materials we consume as well as take advantage of the technological advancement to reduce our carbon footprint.
With a Bachelor of Fine Art and Master of Landscape Architecture I find myself exploring the creative potential of both realms as well as combining them in unique ways. I believe there is a lot to learn from the landscapes that have been impacted by culture over time and that we can regenerate a sense of place by creating healthy places and recognizing the history of the past, while preparing for the future in the present. Creating community orchards is an investment of time into a place for a fruit tree to sustain people, but we also must consider restoring the landscape not just for humanity, but also for the health of other species and the ecosystems that support them.
ECOLOGICAL DESIGNER & URBAN BUILDER
The landscape architecture degree has provided me with an education and understanding for designing the places in which we live. The palette exists in the form of living plants that give life to the earth and our urban environments. Finding a balance between built environments and natural environments can help create a sustainable ecosystem for humans and non human species. My interests are in restoring industrial landscapes through remediation with plants and mushrooms as well as creating functional designs that integrate playgrounds into natural landscapes.
Ecological design can help restore the cultural landscapes of the past and regenerate a sense of place. Much of my work focuses on using native plants that I take cuttings from or collect seed for propagation. In some cases I work alone to reintegrate plants back into environments where they once thrived through guerrilla restoration.
Designing & restoring the health of the landscape requires thinking about other species that coexist the ecosystems that sustain us. One of my passions is to create multi-functional environments that benefit other species beyond humans. Layering ecological system functions within the environments that humans occupy is important if we hope to maintain ecological diversity. Creating pollinator habitat and building an apiary that will become a place to study & generate research on bees is one example of designing for other species that i am working on.