Who are you and what do you do?
I am an artist and art teacher working at Somersfield Academy. I am interested in sea creatures of all sorts, micro and macro, plankton, predators, and the colour blue. I mostly make work in acrylic but I play with spray paint, and occasionally make block prints and silk screen.
How do you make your work?
I make a huge mess, mix cups full of paint, destroy all my brushes and spread books and pictures out all over the floor. Good music is essential. I prefer to work in series. I usually make at least five artworks at once and throw away the ones I don’t like when I’m finished. I make artwork infrequently but intensely.
What superpower would you have and why?
First I would definitely want to be able to breath underwater. When I’m swimming I find it very distracting to have to come up for air all the time. Second, I would love to be organized.
How do you challenge yourself in your work?
I am always interested in the connection between humans and fish and I try in a variety of ways to show that in my work. I’m never as successful as I would like. I also have been trying to paint an octopus for years—so many unfinished octopi are lying in my studio. Something about the light pattern on the skin continues to elude me.
What work of art do you wish you owned?
I find art everywhere. I am always collecting artwork, throwing it in a frame and putting it up on walls, taping it to my computer. I love to have art around me. I like to collect Ami Zander’s work, it’s so layered and deep. I sometimes ask my students to give me a copy of their work when they leave me. I want all of it! I like to frequently change what I have displayed. Currently on rotation is a print from PangeaSeed, a pen and ink drawing of Tokyo, an enamel turtle that glows under a black light from artist Eric Cox, and some cardboard packing material that is cut in a beautiful lattice shape.
What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Pablo Picasso said: “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.” I think of that whenever I am stuck and try to just make stuff, make anything, from a quick Styrofoam print, to simply sketching on a post-it. That usually gets the wheels turning.
Where can people see your work?
Every once in a while a well-meaning friend (or my mentor Chris Marson) convinces me to enter a group show. Then I go overboard in an art-making frenzy. A little encouragement really works for me.