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!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Imagine Finding Me

Above: Otsuka, Chino "1982 and 2005, Paris, France," photo manipulation from her series titled Imagine Finding Me.

This photo collection is such an interesting take on time, perspective, even age... or maybe it's really just about how much fun one photographer can have with Photoshop and I'm over-analyzing things.

Tokyo-born, London-based photographer Chino Otsuka takes the past and present photo project to a new level of expert photo manipulation with her series titled Imagine Finding Me. Rather than simply recreating old photographs as an adult, she inserts her present-day self into photos from her childhood. The result is an incredibly believable image that features photos of Otsuka as a little girl in the 70s and 80s standing side by side with herself as a modern-day woman.

Essentially, the series presents a double portrait of Otsuka and the many places she's visited as a kid. With the advantages of using digital software and technology to merge her past and present self, the photographer is able to create these unique self-portraits. She says, "The digital process becomes a tool, almost like a time machine as I'm embarking on the journey to where I once belonged and at the same time becoming a tourist in my own history." -From

Photography is not the same as illustration.  A world is not created: it's already there. the lens captures light and shadow in a very scientific way, and this requires all photographers to be realists, on some level. Photographers are not afforded the luxury of pure fantasy or pure abstract the way that painters are, so to make us think, they have to bend things, but just a little.  How is that best accomplished through a lens? Great photographers ask this all the time, and the ones that achieve it make us ask questions of ourselves and the world around us that we might otherwise have never asked.  This is the power of that little box when held in the hands of such a magician.

I love presenting "artists to watch out for," but see no reason why photographers shouldn't be counted as artists, especially when they make us think, feel, or remember we're alive and essentially human in some way. Whether it's digital photo-manipulation, oil on panel, or a really good blues solo, isn't that the entire point of art?

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