Artist Statement and Bio
“My best creative work just happens. When I let go, when I stop thinking, I open myself to be the channel through which life can express itself.”
I like to think of each work as a room. There is always a defined amount of space, and what matters is how you use that space, and sometimes that means leaving that space untouched. You must leave space for viewers to come inside, and share and explore the perspective, the feeling, the moment, and the understanding. Those choices are what define the artist, the expression, and the statement.
I started with wildlife, drawn to the textures I could achieve with fur. I looked for subjects of greater interest in Canadian Wildlife, and the more exotic from the nearby African Lion Safari.
As I started to explore other subjects, I became drawn to the play of light and shadow. I developed a curiosity to see how much, or little was needed to create an image, enough to evoke a feeling, continuously exploring how simple lines can tell powerful stories, and how strong contrast captures our attention and imagination. "What really creates the texture and fabric of what we see?" I am always trying to answer this question, not by what I add or put into my work, but mostly by what I leave out.
I began testing the medium, seeing how far I could push my creativity using high contrast with a more abstract approach. The ultimate goal is always to tell a story.
The Early Days
Hamilton Art Crawl
I had pretty much resigned myself to being a closet artist. I had exhibited once at the Art in the Alley in the Dundas Cactus Festival. The public reception wasn't overly warm, most people didn't know what Scratchboard was and thought my work was some kind of creative high-end photocopies. And I was getting pretty busy as a "gigging" musician with my east coast brand of pub shows.
Upon good recommendation, I signed up for an exhibit at the Homegrown Café as part of the James St North Art Crawl. The response here was quite positive and led to another exhibit on the main street in the next Art Crawl. More inspiration came, more work was created, and this led to more exhibits. I took a chance at Hamilton's largest event, Supercrawl and rented a room in the Hotel Hamilton at the corner of Mulberry St and had my largest selling event to date. Of the many things I learned at this event, the most interesting was how many McMaster Art students came to buy prints to study my work for its use of negative space.