What is it that you make? What kind of materials/mediums do you use?
I create a series of oil paintings called Iron Horses: images of real-life working ranch and rodeo horses fused with railroad-inspired typograffiti. I use “Pearl” in reference to my tagline: “No Grit, No Pearl”, because I believe we have to get through the difficult times in life to earn its beauty.
What is your process?
My process is to create a vibrant background with a working horse fitted tightly against the edges of the canvas, then to construct my PEARL tag onto the big muscles of these equine athletes. I like the vibrancy and tension created by the unusual combination of these iconic urban and rural western “cultures”.
How do you pick your subject matter?
I gravitate to super-athletic horses in the middle of a very intense moment - fully extended, fully committed - the ones with a lot of grit and expression in their faces, especially their eyes, ears, nostril and gait. I let the colors and style of writing evolve from each horse, but I work to keep both the horse and the graffiti equally animated and intense.
What is the most important element of what you do?
Most important to me is expressing the passion and energy of both art forms – the athleticism of horses who are completely focused on and fearlessly dedicated to their job, and the creativity and ferocity of graffiti: writers are equally as fearless, focused and fierce in their pursuit of tagging, bombing, and outperforming each other with elaborate burners. I love both art forms, and I love putting them together as a uniquely creative play on words and worlds: traditional western ranch life and working horses combined with the urban movement (is it vandalism or art?) of street art. Both the horses and the lettering are beautiful and exciting to me: strong, powerful, purpose-driven.
How did you learn this skill?
I’ve been painting for a few years, but this painting series came to me as the perfect expression of two lifelong passions – working horses and typograffiti. I’m still developing both.
How has your work evolved over time? Where do you see it going?
My art has evolved from representational – landscapes, wildlife, western art – to a deeper, more personal and more meaningful pursuit of what I feel is my unique view of my world. I see my work becoming more message-driven in series of Iron Horses that represent healing (the Warrior/Medicine Hat horses), confidence (the I Am the Storm horses) and more.
Anything else you would like us to know about your work?
I also offer commissioned Iron Horse paintings of individual horses with individualized tags in custom colors.