Painter of the mystical, otherworldly, sensual, and whimsical.

I'm a painter living and working in the beautiful finger-lakes region of Western New York State. I am also an avid gardener and nature lover, so the lush green rolling hills, gentle streams, and majestic lakes that surround my home in this world often appear in the fantasy worlds of my paintings.

Many of the pieces draw inspiration from folk tales, myths and legends. These "teaching tales" were what drew us together around our hearth-fires for centuries, and I believe those stories still carry power.

I enjoy looking at these ancient tales, through my eyes, and painting what I see, no matter if it's beautiful or disturbing. But what's more fun is when others can see those same paintings and find something within of value that speaks to their soul directly. I do not plan for this, but am honored when it happens, and, oh, yes, do love hearing about it every time that it happens. It reminds me that maybe we are not so different after all.

Glad to meet you, and please enjoy the paintings!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Rethinking Salome

The dance of Salome for the Head of john the Basptist is one of the many Bible Stories that I've wanted to explore for a long time.  Symbolist painter Gustave Moreau has an interesting take on the subject, and, this fall, the the Hammer Museum is presenting an exhibition devoted to Gustave Moreau’s Salome Dancing before Herod.  The write up calls this, "one of the most remarkable and best-known paintings in the museum’s collection."  One of the parts that makes this particular exhibition so interesting is that it includes the related paintings, drawings, and preparatory studies that went into this piece, which allows us to see more of how the artist worked and went through his creative process.  Typically, most of these materials are housed in his home country, France.

When fellow artist Michael Manning sent me the link about the exhibit, he added, "Moreau's work has an iconic sensuality to it - haunting/haunted-looking figures, shadowy supernatural environments, and layered textures, all dripping with exquisite detail, sometimes incised directly into the paint surface - that can be almost overwhelming, even chilling to me."

Looking at Moreau's take on Salome has me re-thinking how I might work this subject when I get a chance to tackle it.  What is the best way to capture, in paint, a dancer so sensuous that she could make a king take leave of his senses?  It's an interesting question!

Gustave Moreau, Salome Dancing before Herod (detail) 1874-76

Gustave Moreau, Salome Dancing before Herod (detail) 1874-76

Above: Gustave Moreau. Nude Female Model for Salome (Study for Salome Dancing before Herod)

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