What is your background and what drives you to paint?
I completed a bachelor of arts, honours fine arts with a studio specialization at the University of Waterloo followed by a bachelor of education at Wilfrid Laurier University. I hold an MFA from Western University. I'm based in Waterloo and paint full time in my studio in downtown Kitchener. I'm drawn to painting because of its versatility in terms of colour and saturations and its flexibility in application.
What are your inspirations/influences and what themes do you pursue in your work?
There are a series of confluences that converge on my canvasses. The subject matter is largely the public crowd as a single entity. Some themes in the work are, for example, social influences, gender identities, age related issues, disability, fashion and are illustrated through colour theory and abstract and representational painting.
How has your practice developed over your career?
My practice has become more established as a daily practice of making. I prepare my surfaces by stretching canvas and other cloth over wooden stretchers and prime the surface with layers on layers until it feels right with a certain amount of smooth to tooth ratio before I can begin painting.
I have developed a 'prep, paint, plan' method as part of my daily practice to keep my momentum. Prep - prepare my surfaces, Paint - paint something, some days, paint anything! Plan - take time to plan for new work, jot down ideas, reading, make study of a new idea, draw, see a show, art talk, podcast etc...
As much of the imagery in your paintings often deals with public encounters and crowds, has the limited social gathering of this past year affected the way you create or think about your work in any way?
The lack of source material this year, because I take my own photos for paintings, has resulted in a re examination of the photos I have. So, I'm reusing images from the past in new paintings.
What ideas are involved in your current work for the upcoming show?
I'm still committed to making work about our social interactions in public spaces. My attention has turned toward the relationship between representation and abstraction through figurative painting.