Location: Canterbury, NH
Featured Work: Scorched
Describe your featured work
At first glance it appears to be a rather bizarre image: strong, thick lines slashing across the bottom; dark circles; crosshairs for a precision bombing target; cattle branding pyroglyphics. One might be able to identify some of the objects, such as crop circles which are used in arid desert-like landscapes, and yet so many of them seem to be dead. Only one seems to have life because of its golden yellow color. There are the concentric circles which look like a target to shoot at – either with guns, arrows, or bombs. The diagonal lines could be access roads. Then we have ground fire which appears to be emanating out of this triangular shape, alluding to cattle branding pyroglyphics. Much of the image is dirty, shadowy, and black in contrast to the lighter portions. We have a landscape that looks very inhospitable. It does not come across as a land of milk and honey, and yet human beings have gone in there and established structures in an effort to exert some kind of control over this vast landscape.
I am interested in the relationship of human beings to nature. It appears humans do not have control over what they are building or are insignificant in the greater scheme of things. However, “The life and passion of a person leave an imprint on the ether of a place. Love does not remain within the heart, it flows out to build secret tabernacles in a landscape.”
I attempt to connect the visible and invisible worlds, primarily in landscapes whose objects and structures symbolize the human relationship to nature, nature being one place where I envision the Shekinah — the presence of God clearly yet mysteriously manifested. What I start with tends to look like mud, but through the digital process I accomplish the finished work. I use a camera as an artist’s sketchbook, sketching out my ideas frequently 6-7 miles above the earth from within a commercial aircraft, moving at about 600 miles per hour, through a distorted port window. Line, shape, texture, color interest me as a semi-abstract form, but I like to maintain a remnant of reality. Most of my work takes place at a computer. With tools of Lightroom, Photoshop, and Corel Painter, I paint, draw, and manipulate color and values. After printing with pigmented inks onto rag paper, I will sometimes apply colored pencils.
What are you making now?
Semi-abstract forms from an aerial perspective. Although I may be interested in what the objects are, what I am seeing is basic art stuff: line, shape, texture, and color. In looking at the landscape from on high, one begins to get a sense of the vastness of the earth and how insignificant we as human beings are. One cannot get that perspective with just having feet on the ground. Using a digital process, it is fairly simple to make images large. Typically I make unframed prints of 28 x 16 inches. However, I love to make BIG images. With my equipment I make some pieces 44 x 73 inches. My preference is to make more images that size. However, issues of framing, shipping, installation, storage, and cost come into play. Where the blood, sweat, and tears occur is when I am working directly with an image using a stylus and drawing tablet while viewing a 30-inch monitor.
Why do you belong to CIVA?
Visual art-making tends to be a solitary endeavor, unlike the performing arts. When one also considers the number of artists in the general population represents only about 9%, it makes finding encouragement, support, and community difficult. Although one can approach a group such as a local art association where you have a common interest, there are still insecurities about being accepted for who you are. As a fellow Christian and member of CIVA, there is an assurance of being accepted because the organization is based upon the love of Christ running through the body of believers, which simply does not exist in other kinds of groups. Moreover, there is the hope that the artists’ collaboration with the Creator and immersion in Scripture produces faith-based artwork.
On a slow, sunny summer Saturday, while sitting on my front stoop, I was suddenly inspired to do something about my peculiar vision and the repeated remarks, “You see things differently.” I went to the bank, withdrew my whole life savings of $125.00, and bought my first camera – albeit used. I found an intensive course that promised to teach me in six weeks ALL that I would need to know about photography. I promptly proceeded to ruin my first two rolls of film. Warp speed to Lilly Grant recipient, artwork in the Museum of Biblical Art, and Denver Art Museum.