Landscape Statement 

A pair of art residencies in Finland have shaped my understanding of the complexities of my mental being, and perhaps permanently changed my art. For the better part of twenty years, my art has focused on storytelling, and once again, I found myself wandering off into the woods to search out the haunts and natural phenomena that would inspire new stories. Unbeknownst to me, the fates (or perhaps the spirits that populate the lore-rich forests of Finland) had something quite different in mind. Every step into the forest took me even deeper into myself. It would take a long night by the fire to describe what happened next, but this journey into the trees brought me to find the deep roots of depression and anxiety, pain and trauma that had been ignored for a lifetime. Since then, I have learned how much I needed to venture into the loneliness and introspection of the forest. It is now clear that my art is inextricably connected to this journey, and is intended to tell a story of healing.

My art is rooted in traditional techniques, touched by a contemporary visual sensibility, inspired by rich storytelling, and always plays with dualities, both in terms of concept and intention. The red fabric which has gradually manifested itself into my work since my time in Finland speaks to the act of storytelling and encompasses my own story. At once hinting at folkloric tales and legend and also representing the mental wellbeing of the artist, the fabric invites the viewer to return to a state of wonderment and enchantment while serving as a visceral symbol of personal healing. A final key to the dual nature of my work is the choice to include location names and coordinates in my titles. This allows me to relish the memory of a particular place and also invite my viewers to go on their own journey and find their own stories there.


Landscape statement

I’ve always been drawn to the forest, but the reasons why have changed over time. In 2019, when I arrived in Finland for a two-month artist’s residency, I set out with the intent to find adventure, and to search out the wonder and phenomena that inspired local legend and lore. But once I was within the deep recesses of the trees and shadows, I came to recognize that the commanding embrace of solitude and silence possessed far greater designs than my own, and the direction of my exploration profoundly changed. After returning home, my art practice changed as well. 
Once my art was created from imagination, history and literary reference; now, it is intrinsically entwined with my personal experiences in the wilderness. Life experience and painting have formed a tight bond, each feeling hollow without the other, and my art practice has become a psychological journey. Landscape painting for me transcends simply recreating a view of a place using paint. It is the device I use to immerse myself in the discovery of not only the world around me, but also myself.  

It begins when I step outside. As I wander into the woods in a vast, enveloping silence, I start to examine myself. Gone are the barriers that I’ve spent decades building to hide any hint at weakness. Every step in the muck, wetness, and shadows has a direct connection to every insecurity and doubt I’ve ever had. I’ve spent years organizing the different facets of my life in a way that keeps me endlessly moving and occupied, but in doing so, I’ve denied my head the requisite time to process the pain and trauma I’ve experienced along the way. Alone in the quiet wonder of the forest, all the distractions are gone, the denial is gone, and I am left open and raw to confront all that I have avoided for so long…my anxieties, fears, longings, and secrets. I absorb the energy and vibration of nature, and I am left feeling at peace, balanced, and connected to myself on a deeper level than I’ve ever felt before. I enter the forest an initiate, bathe my soul in the cleansing embrace of silence, and return blessed. 

Each painting that comes from that experience is a visual journal entry. As if in a vivid dream, when I paint, I remember exactly where I was…every minute detail…and somehow I find myself back within the potent embrace of solitude and silence that I’ve come to love deeply. Afterward, I title the paintings with the date I explored the area, the name of the location, and coordinates, so that the visual and the time are inextricably woven together in my memory. 

After creation, there is one more important segment of my art practice: a meaningful engagement with viewers. I am a storyteller at heart, and I yearn to share tales and anecdotes of my experience in the field, as well as the studio. I have found that honestly expressing my love for the wilderness and all of its wonder, as well as the emotional trials and tribulations I’ve experienced along the way, has opened doorways for others to express how they can relate to what they see. That level of engagement completes the circle of life and art for me. For the viewer, I hope it serves as a source of inspiration to build upon their own story. 

Rediscovering Silence (solo show featured at the Royal Nebeker Art Gallery in Astoria, OR)

In the fall of 2019, I left home to spend two months at the Archipelago Art Residency in Korpo (AARK), on a tiny island in Finland. Before leaving home, I methodically planned every detail for every situation that I could foresee. I was ready for anything…or so I thought. I set out with the intent to find adventure, and to search out the wonder and phenomena that inspire the area’s legend and lore. But once I was within the forest, I came to recognize that the commanding embrace of solitude and silence possessed far greater designs than my own, and the direction of my exploration profoundly changed. Rediscovering Silence is about the unexpected: the unexpected internal journey that I experienced while on an art residency in the vast Finnish Archipelago, and the equally unexpected experience of creating an entire body of work from the confines of isolation brought on by COVID-19.

I arrived in Korpo at the perfect time. The birch’s leaves were just transitioning to yellow, and within days would be purely aflame. I eagerly started hiking in search of all that could be found. Along the way I developed some routines, two of which became critically important to my experience.

The first was my morning ritual: watching the sunrise. I quickly fell into the routine of walking down to the shore during the last moments of darkness each morning with a thermos of hot tea, bundled up in layers of wool, and watching the sun rise over the neighboring island. I set a chair at the water’s edge, gazing across the water toward Pärnäs, and sat in silence and reverence as the waves licked the shore, and the sky began its slow march from marine twilight towards fiery brilliance or the slower staccato of lighter gray upon gray. I found it impossible not to feel every nuance of the life and energy around me. Toward the end of the residency I wrote in a journal “watching the sunrise each morning, is peering within myself, a clearer, soothing self, void of the fog and tumult that so often tears at the very fabric of my being. It’s a chance not to fight, not to worry, and not to be on the verge of smashing everything. It’s a new me with hope, patience, and calm.” I could feel the rhythm and cadence of every day, and I felt entirely connected to life.

My second new habit, relinquishing control and exploring my surroundings in unexpected ways, came from the discovery that there aren’t many maintained trails in the archipelago. There are a few paths here and there, and some long-forgotten farm roads, but otherwise I was faced with walls of thick underbrush and dense mats of lichen and moss. So I decided to leave my daily walks to fate, follow the abundance of moose and deer trails that were before me, and let the animals deliver me where they pleased. No plan, no map, no direction. I chose to wander, and the act of letting go resulted in a richer, more rewarding introspection than I ever imagined possible. The otherworldly beauty of the forest enticed me to enter it, and then the silence wrapped its arms around me and guided me to examine my inner world.

As I wandered further into the woods in a vast, enveloping silence, I started to examine myself. Gone were the barriers that I’ve spent decades erecting to hide any hint at weakness. Every step in the muck, wetness, and shadows had a direct connection to every insecurity and doubt I’ve ever had. I’ve spent years organizing the different facets of my life in a way that keeps me endlessly moving and occupied, but in doing so, I’ve denied my head the requisite time to process the pain and trauma I’ve experienced along the way. Alone in the quiet wonder of the forest, all the distractions were gone, the denial was gone, and I was left open and raw to confront all that I had avoided for so long…my anxieties, fears, longings, and secrets.

One day, as I sat somewhere northwest of the shore at Retais Träsk in a snowstorm, listening to the snowflakes gently tinkling on the long dead birch leaves blanketing the forest floor around me, I realized that it was time for a big change—I needed to find the courage to stand up to myself and be willing to go wherever that would take me. Once I accepted that, the ensuing peace was enrapturing. I felt myself immediately at peace, balanced, and connected to myself on a deeper level than I’ve ever felt before. I entered the forest an initiate, bathed my soul in the cleansing embrace of silence, and returned blessed.

I was in Finland for 67 days, and I fit more than you could imagine into that time. I explored the landscape that inspired the rich Finnish folklore chronicled in the Kalevala (a collection of epic poetry compiled by a folklorist in the 19th century). I found Viking burial mounds, abandoned WWI military installations, and the remnants of long-lost fishing villages. I had run-ins with moose. I visited crumbling castles and fortresses, grand theaters, and old churches with their original pagan iconography still decorating the ceiling. I witnessed stars so bright that they cast shadows upon the ground. I rolled the dice and hitched a ride on a random supply boat from one tiny island to an even smaller one on the outermost reaches of the archipelago. I participated in a drum meditation with a shaman who later became my friend, and took a journey to the underworld. I made more friends in the community who welcomed me into their homes and told me their personal stories. I opened myself up to anything that presented itself to me.

These days, as I work back in Seattle, I find myself experiencing a strange new kind of isolation. At first, painting these places was a fairly straightforward exercise in recreating a cherished experience and a beautiful, story-rich landscape. Now, as a worldwide pandemic limits social interaction and causes chaos, I spend most of my hours working in the confines of my small basement studio. I find myself struggling to prevent my head from spiraling out of control, obsessively reading the news and feeling a chaotic mix of despondence and defeat at the practical and financial perils that I, and others, face.

Luckily, the act of painting has somehow transported me back to Finland and gives me peace. Each painting is a visual journal entry. As if in a vivid dream, I remember exactly where I was: the chilly nip of cold upon my face, the delicate sound of frost melting in the early light of day, the warmth of the hearty fish soup from my thermos, and the alluring yet haunting smell of the endless cycle of death, decay, and subsequent rebirth that only a place entirely shrouded in moss and lichen can bring. I am no longer surrounded by noise and fear; I am somehow in the potent embrace of solitude and silence that I’ve come to love deeply.


Landscape Statement

My desire to paint is fueled by my desire to explore, and lately what has stoked that desire is the natural world. For me, landscape painting transcends merely recreating a view of a place using paint. It is the device I use to escape the comforts of home and immerse myself in the discovery of not only the world around me, but myself. There is no lack of wisdom to be gained while alone in the forest. It usually presents itself in the form of introspection, humility and the eagerness to find meaning. 

The paintings themselves follow a stream of consciousness from one wonder to the next. They are a travel journal where words may have failed, but paint describes the vast array of color and values, the chemistry between sky, land and water, and the absolute power of nature’s forces through mark making and movement. 

Because I am a storyteller at heart, simply sharing my paintings falls short. Since my impulse is to share these experiences in a broader sense, I include the coordinates to each location with my titles. Some are exact; others will get the viewers close enough to discover their own story.

What words could not express: The Iceland Series (solo show at Core Gallery, Seattle) statement

My latest work begins to express what words could not: the awe and wonder that I felt when I visited Iceland.

My desire to paint is fueled by my desire to explore. I search out places that I see in my dreams, hiking and camping to immerse myself in my surroundings, then returning home to paint what I found. For me, landscape painting transcends merely recreating a view of a place with paint; it is the device I use to escape the comforts of home and immerse myself in the discovery of not only the world around me, but myself.

This past spring, my sense of adventure led me farther afield, and I booked a trip to Iceland. For nearly two weeks I meandered all over this rugged island, taking in its beauty and power, at times feeling incredulous of its very existence. In all my travels, never have I spent as much time, jaw agape, surrounded by such beauty.

My travels took me around the famed Ring Road, which at times is broad and reliable, and other times is simply an implied path. It’s a collection of many fjords, majestic plateaus, snow-capped truncated peaks, waterfalls, the world’s widest stretch of glacial till, rolling sheep strewn hills, strikingly blue glacial lagoons, otherworldly volcanic craters, bubbling sulfur pools, jagged cliffs, and haunting windswept black sand beaches.  With “marine twilight” for merely one hour, the days were long, and an exercise in complete sensory overload. I traveled as far as the car could go, sometimes further than it should have, and then ventured yet further, hiking, wading, and climbing, all the time incessantly snapping the shutter of my camera. For as much as this trip was about exploration, I embarked on it knowing that my ultimate goal was to create.

In the spirit of Kerouac, this “painted essay” travels from one wonder to the next in a stream of consciousness, capturing the many spectacles that I saw. Where words failed me, I’ve used paint to describe the vast array of color and values I was attracted to, and the captivating, dynamic chemistry between the sky and land, and water. Every turn brought a new experience of discovery, and so I’ve used a variety of vantage points to place the viewer within the landscape as I experienced it. In an effort to more fully share the experience, I’ve included the coordinates of each place, encouraging viewers to set out on their own adventures and find these places for themselves. Some of the coordinates will deliver them to the exact spot that inspired me to paint, and others will get them close enough to build their own experience with less of my influence.

I have just begun processing this marvel of a place that has had a profound effect upon me, but expect more to come.


Allegories from my subconscious (solo show at Core Gallery, Seattle)

This series explores the intriguing overlap that occurs between visions and places that I see when I’m asleep versus awake.

Sleep has always been elusive for me, but when I’m able to dream, the visions and places in those dreams are incredibly vivid. During the day, when I’m tired and in need of peace, I hike in the woods and along the water. I always assumed that these activities were unconnected, but lately, I’ve been finding surprising overlaps between the things that I see when I’m asleep and when I’m awake. My torment has worn the veil between dreams and reality thin. One experience is as vivid as the other, and I’m often left questioning their meaning and the places they take me. 

2013 - 2014

Brief Statement for Confluence Gallery's  "Woman: Lady. Girl. Female. Chick. Dame. Broad. Lassie. Wench. Maiden. An Artist’s Interpretation." show in which I was asked to explore what I believe it means to be a woman

A woman is half of the human equation—the half that provides life. She is a powerful, sensual creature who shows beauty in many shapes and forms, but also complexity and fortitude…all while establishing her equality in what’s sometimes considered to be a “man’s world.”

Overall statement

Storytelling is actually the core element of my art—the foundation upon which my paintings are built. I’m intrigued by early myths, traditional folklore, the histories, and the classics. Each painting I make explores one of these things, and every element in my compositions has symbolic meaning that supports that story.

I believe that storytelling is one of the basic principles that has shaped who we are, and has helped us on some level to understand the human condition. Stories haven’t always been so dry, superficial, and easy to consume (my problem with most literature and movies today); there was a time when they challenged us, and forced us to think by not supplying all the answers. In some way, I’m searching for the root of our beliefs, the origins of our religions, our political views, and the events that created our current world view. Perhaps most importantly, I’m fascinated by how many of the basic building blocks of our society have been forgotten or changed to a point beyond recognition. Looking to the past is my attempt at understanding us, and certainly has become a path to understanding myself..

2010 - 2012

Shadows, Persona, and Trickery

Shadows, Persona, and Trickery is a collection of paintings which draws influence from the effects of magic and religion as cultural phenomena that shaped our early societies, the disconnect of the modern mind from these theories and beliefs, the innate manipulative quality that we as humans possess...and a search for the soul, which I believe is the construct that holds all of these ideas together in our collective unconscious.

The work is heavily influenced by the events, rituals, and belief systems that are chronicled in James Frazer’s The Golden Bough. Each painting is laced with multiple layers of meaning and symbolism, some specific to a single tale or belief, and others exploring the broad similarities between vastly different societies and religions. A few points of departure, however, make the content uniquely mine. While the book references every aspect of a particular belief or custom, my body of work focuses on the broader psychological relationship between figure and symbol. And unlike Frazer’s strict adherence to an anthropological account which is utterly void of self, I insert my own perspective and bias, perpetuating the process of transformation these ideas have taken since their origins in our early thought.

While thinking about origins of thought and belief in our species, there was also a lot of time to consider our innate deceptive qualities. Simply looking at what is included (and excluded) in historical or religious texts is a perfect example of this. Although I don’t believe we are all up to no good, we do have a way of manipulating situations in order to achieve a particular outcome. With this in mind, I decided to give a nod to Carl Jung’s archetype of the “trickster”, the character that has a knack for breaking the rules—sometimes intentionally, sometimes not—for an outcome that falls on the positive side of the coin. The multiple hands on each figure represent the parlor trick, or sleight of hand, in all of us.

Most of my paintings feature a variety of symbols. Many of them, for example, are embellished with a string. Although the string has taken many forms and meanings throughout my work over the years, its manifestation in this body of work is a connecting point between our past and contemporary modes of thinking. My work also uses symbols and visual cues once widely known—i.e. fauna as the embodiment of a specific god, flora to indicate worship of a goddess—and combines them with figures adorned in contemporary attire and posturing. There is a physical and psychological disconnect between these things, and although the string doesn’t tie them together, it symbolizes the “life” and “being” between them and the interconnectedness of ideas. The string is also red, a color indicating life, and much like its inclusion in early wedding dresses symbolizes the basic human nature in us all.

My work is about the disconnect between historical rituals and beliefs and the roles of figures in a contemporary setting; it focuses on the space between these two worlds, sometimes a vast chasm and other times merely skin deep. Ultimately, however, I believe that my work is not completely done until viewers seek me out to discuss its meaning and how it relates to their experiences, beliefs, and their way of thinking.

2009 - 2010

Histories - magic - and trickery

With Histories - magic - and trickery, I’ve continued to explore a few of the different themes that have cropped up in my work over the years. The connection between oral and written histories and our daily lives, the complex relationship between Life and Death, the personification of Death as the “working man” with tasks and desires, and in a new twist, the use of masks and multiple hands to depict the elements of trickery and deceit that are almost always present in human nature. In addition, hidden deep within all of these or perhaps the string connecting them all, a desire to find the soul.

This work draws inspiration from the mythology that shaped our early civilizations, the folklore passed down through the generations that served as lessons for children, as well my daily observances of these things thinly veiled by our modern perceptions of good and evil. Although I have relied heavily on Homer, Aesop, and the Grimm brothers the past couple of years, my focus has switched and references to imagery and themes from James Frazer's The Golden Bough have begun to appear.

Some of the work is focused on a single critical element, while other paintings are intricately laced with symbols and references, indicating that a greater story is at hand. I like to create paintings with imagery that generates discussion, but leaves enough room for the viewer to use their own imagination and develop a unique interpretation of the painting’s meaning. The story is yours to finish.


The King of change

This body of work explores the ordinary routine of Death. Far from the embodiment of evil as seen by many cultures, I see Death as a part of each of us, ever present, tasked with maintaining a balance on life, and guiding us through a series of changes. The act of death is not an end, it is the beginning of the next stage in our soul’s journey; Death is merely waiting for the point at which we are ready to leave the Earthly constraints of our bodies, and guide us to the next stage. For this I have called him, and the body of work, The King of Change.

There are many places I have drawn my ideas of Death from, recently it was my reading of the Grimm’s Fairytale, “Godfather Death.” In early Germanic traditions he was seen as the keeper of a vast hall of candles, each representing an individual life. As the candle burned, so your life changed, and as the candle started to fizzle near its end, your life became that much closer to its end; upon the extinguishing of your particular flame, Death would make himself known and guide you to the afterlife. This theory of Death as a “guide” has carried over in many other cultures; it has been given the title, Psycopomop, literally meaning the “guider of souls.”

In these paintings, some explore him, some his actions, some even his interaction with living beings. The candles are a constant. Gone are the ghastly portrayals of him ending life, and the hauntingly empty face of the deceased; instead he is pictured in a dance with the living, sharing in life and in the light.


A concoction of visual allegories inspired by Aesop’s Fables, Grimm’s Fairytales, and mythology.

I am an incessant reader, forever searching out the connections between the histories and the people that I surround myself with. Recently introduced to the archetypes, I’ve found a bastion of inspiration in the likes of Aesop, the Brother’s Grimm and Homer. This idea of drawing connections from the past to my peers has appeared and reappeared arbitrarily throughout my painting career, but only recently have I dedicated an entire body of work to it. It’s sometimes macabre and mysterious, at other times light hearted or satirical, and my use of mark making and color acts as a binder for this allegorical and rather fluid collection of paintings.