I am an oil painter, originally from California’s Napa Valley. A lifelong doodler of portraits, comics and illustrations, as well as a screen-printer and erstwhile designer, I didn’t actually begin smearing paint on stuff until I was knee deep into my 30s. Starting with a jar of cheap brushes and painting mostly portraits of friends, family, derelicts and ne’er-do-wells, I soon traded my brushes for pallet knives and began adding cityscapes, narrative designs and random thought-thinkings into my subject matter.
In 2008, I had my first solo exhibition in Redding California. Over the next 4 years, I enjoyed several successful group and solo shows throughout California. My work was featured in local papers and shiny magazines and I was commissioned for portraits, album covers and t-shirt designs. In 2011, I moved to Portland, Oregon and over the next five years enjoyed many exhibitions in and around one of the greatest cities in the world. Portland was an incredible inspiration and provided the spark for virtually every painting I completed in this prolific, beer-soaked period.
I recently said farewell to Portland and hello to New Orleans. New jokes in new pubs, new faces giving me new smiles and dirty looks, new street corners with new stories. They all find their way into my work. The faces and lives of the folks I've seen and if I'm lucky, gotten to know here in New Orleans, have found (or will find) their way onto my panels. The diversity of the city is inspiring to me, as are the biographies of these folks. Some of their stories I know, and some I make up over the course of scribbling their pictures.
I encourage the viewer to do the same. Create the narrative in your own mind.
Questions & Answers
Describe your art in three words.
Personal. Curious. Evolving.
Describe yourself in one word.
What do you love the most about creating art in New Orleans? What particular part of your immediate environment, in your neighborhood specifically influences your work?
Before moving here, my work focused on urban landscapes and city scenes. I had no plans to change direction. In fact I looked forward to the stunning visuals on display in New Orleans. But within days of settling in the Marigny, my attention shifted when I met an older gent in Washington Square Park and asked if I could paint his picture. That set me in a whole new direction. I never run out of inspiration. All I have to do is walk out the door and say hello to a stranger.
Describe your creative process. Are there any rituals or rites of passage you exercise before you begin a new piece?
My only ritual when I start is to drink a cup of coffee and will myself to not fuck up. When I finish, assuming I didn't fuck up, I drink a martini and plot my next move.
Where do you draw inspiration?
Every face I see.
Who are your artistic influences or gurus?
So many. Jean Michel Basquiat comes to mind first. But as far as portraiture, no one did it better than Lucian Freud. I teared up a bit the first time I saw a real life Pollack.
In New Orleans, art and music go hand in hand. What type of music, band or song lyric best describes your work?
I could listen to Tom Waits's entire catalog on repeat from now until the day I die. I wouldn't turn my nose up if you sprinkled in some Dylan, Stevie Wonder and Waylon Jennings. I think my favorite lyric, and the most inspirational, is a bit of spoken blues from Dylan's "Brownsville Girl": "How far you all goin'? Ruby asked us with a sigh. We're goin' all the way, 'til the wheels fall of and burn. 'Til the sun heals the pain and the seat covers fade and the water moccasin dies. Ruby just smiled and said, aw you know, some babies never learn." It's not really art related, but damn, it's so good.
Where can we find you when you are not creating art?
Walking the dog, sipping whiskey at the bar or begging my wife to let me hit the record shop.
What is your favorite time of day/day of the week/month of the year?
What is something people don’t know about you? A fun fact.
I know all the words to "West End Girls" by the Pet Shop Boys.
To send me a message
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Where You Can Find My Work
"NOLA New Pop 2017"
Artisan Cafe & Bar
2512 St. Claude Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70117
All works listed online are available to be viewed at Where Y’Art Gallery by appointment.