I was born and grew up in San Diego, California.
I graduated with an MFA from the University of Wisconsin. I was a college art instructor 6 years with an active art practice, segueing around 1983 into a 20 plus years in the commercial art field of decorative and architectural painting and design. My personal art took a back seat during that period but by 2003 I was able to resume serious commitment to my own art practice.
In the years since resuming my independent work I have felt the trajectory of my art pull in two directions – the personal, idiosyncratically contemplative and, literally, the political. Initially this created a tension in my own attitude and mind as to how I would proceed. But now I observe in my work that the personal has become political and the political, personal. For me it is a desire to participate in a conversation about how we respond individually to our growing global connectivity in the 21st Century and the sheer weight of our escalating knowledge base and our exposure to a torrent of unrelenting information.
I have consumed and have been consumed by world events, overcome by the horror along with the sheer beauty that accompanies many of the images that sweep past us daily. I am interested in the peacemakers not the haters among us, the dissident who stands up to power, the brave women of Africa and the world who confront their patriarchal societies and fight for autonomy and escape from oppression.
I have sometimes reinterpreted fragments of images from an historical moment where I wasn’t physically present. I chose images that were “iconic” to me and that I wanted to recapture in a manner that froze, magnified and elevated the drama and narrative of the event such as the continuing tragedy that is Tibet and the hope that flickers now in Burma because monks once marched in protest. I also see the irony of some of my work in the context of fast moving history when images get flipped on their head, when the peacemaker becomes the oppressor, when hope morphs into despair.
Although I'm not interested in elevating the cult of personality through art, I have been inspired to render portraits of individuals who have moved me through either their courage, compassion or resilience, whether celebrated or not.
I only have to look around me to see people of no acclaim or celebrity who nevertheless lead lives of quiet heroism which I explore in my ongoing series Ordinary/Extraordinary and whose portraits also offer the canvas for my own personal reflections.
A new series I have concurrently started will be my attempt at a “visual" poem in a chiaroscuro rondelet to a city, a mood and a moment in time.