This is an invitation that I'd made up for a show I have my work in at the moment... the work is on display until April 1st 2015.
The work I am showing here is work that I've saved over a fair amount of time and it tells a story about my development - not only as an artist but as a person. Most of my earlier work has more of a spiritual theme. Both the subject matter in the paintings and the imagery have religious tones - characters such as Mary magdalene were done at a time of spiritual exploration. The stories aren't meant to preach but rather inspire. The story of Mary Magdalene ("awaiting the return") for instance, was a story about a woman that was so devoted and faithful that she risked getting caught and punished by the Romans but was true to what she believed in no matter what the cost. Depending on what version you read, she was the one of the only ones that actually returned to the tomb where Jesus was buried and waited for him when everyone else hid to avoid what they imagined would be a similar fate. "Donna nobis pacem" (give us peace) is a painting that I did with David as a theme... A story about a young guy facing someone who was armed, covered with armour and probably twenty times his size with a slingshot - It's a moment where he stopped to gather courage to do what needed to be done. Lately my work has been more about things that are dealt with by people who might not even realize they're doing it. I am a firefighter and issues like PTSD and depression are things that several of my friends as well as myself have dealt with as first responders - they are issues that are vitally important and ones I feel very strongly about. One piece that I finished recently - "Reaching out" is a piece about post traumatic stress... It's about seeking help when you need it as well as being aware and ready to help others who are drowning in the state they’re in.
During all of this change as an artist and as a person, there is a common element that is shared among all of my works - my love of traditional materials and techniques. I love the romance and delicate touch of pre-raphaelites like Waterhouse and Leighton, the dramatic flare that Caravaggio captured with his work and the strength and mastery of painters like John Singer Sargent. I am in awe when I see work that was done with such confidence and sensitivity to form and the mediums they used. When I do work of my own, I try to take certain qualities that I admire from these artists and let those influence my style. With these techniques learned from the masters, I am continuing to say new things with an old language.