What is it that you make? What kind of materials/mediums do you use? I make bright and lively contemporary wildlife paintings with acrylics and oils, usually on thick canvases that I stretch myself.
What is your process? I always start by stretching the canvas and getting the idea somewhat clear in my mind. Then, I sketch my wildlife very loosely and quickly (while still aiming for accuracy) with a charcoal that brushes off easily. I then get my first layer of paint down, focusing more on values than on colors, and keeping it again quick and loose. My last steps are refining the overall painting with oils and adding in any excitement it might need lastly.
How do you pick your subject matter? My animals usually have some connection to an internal experience I am focusing on or going through. For example, I often associate Moose with a strong solitude, or Bears with playfulness and joy. I then use my colors and strokes to further whatever human experience I am trying to relate and celebrate.
What is the most important element of what you do? It is my use of color and strokes to keep the paintings alive and to make the animals be full of personality. I value strong rendering, but I appreciate bold use of paint, proclaiming “this is ART” while also being aesthetically pleasing.
How did you learn this skill? Just like anything- over many years of practice. I began by looking at the amazing, masterful painters (particularly of the west) and learning just a tiny pinch of how they go about using color and value to create masterpieces. Once I became comfortable with using paint, I found that I had to make it fit my “way” of painting- quick, big and expressive. So, I did that. I still look to learn skills from other artists and incorporate them into my work.
How has your work evolved over time? Where do you see it going? I have finally gotten to a place where I feel like the art I am making fits me the best. In the near future I see myself branching out from wildlife to figurative work, and perhaps a couple other series.