Wildlife

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Artist statement for this series.

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Artist Statement

Nature enchants and terrifies me. Harmony in nature is really just an endless fight for survival between everything living and from this struggle an overwhelming beauty has emerged. To fully appreciate that beauty, we must recognize the role brutality has played in its creation.

 

When I paint wildlife, I can’t help but contemplate my own motivations, imagining how my existence might be different if I was living the life of the subject. Would my thoughts and actions be more honest and pure? Or would my experience be more lawless and stressful? The meditative process necessary for capturing detail in my wildlife paintings forces me to not take for granted the reality that every day that I am alive it is because something else is not. It’s an uncomfortable fact that is easily pushed into the subconscious. 

 

I begin a painting with the eyes. I believe the intensity of an animal’s eyes expresses the balance between the kindness and warmth and the cruelty and harshness of nature. Reminiscent of the 20th c. Canadian artist Robert Bateman as well as the 19th c. American artist Alexander Pope, my style brings animals to life through their gazes and captures the vitality of the moment with detail, light, and shadow.