They say to paint what you know. What I know are animals: furred, feathered and a few finned. Like many kids, I wanted to be a vet when I grew up. After much hard work and dogged determination, including a few years working (and living) in a North Philadelphia animal shelter hospital, I acheived my dream. But daily veterinary practice is demanding, not just physically, but emotionally. I needed rest for my mind and so discovered drawing. Color called me and I turned to paint.
Starting with the eyes I sculpt my subjects with pencil, then paint following their contours, exploring patterns, looking for design. My backgrounds are often abstract suggestions of habitat. There is nothing like the movement and interaction of pigment as I play with colors and water (or oil); push, pull and lift. Absorbent gesso gives me more freedom and control than paper or canvas and I varnish most of my pieces and frame them without glass.
Ultimately my work expresses joy. The beauty of God's gift to us of life. True, much of the world around us and our own lives doesn't make sense. There's frustration, loss and pain as well as peace and goodness. But what we see of this life is not all there is. It's like looking at the back of a tapestry in progress. If we trust the Artist, we know it will be beautiful because it is created with love. He proved it by giving us His Son, called Immanuel--God with us, to give us full life. God pours His grace on all who call on Him. We can't earn it, but we can pass it on to those around us. In my art as in all my life, I want to be a conduit of grace.