What gives you inspiration or motivates you to create art?
Painting is like Oxygen for me. It’s just simply something I must do to live.
At what age did you start to express your passion for art?
I don’t remember ever not drawing or painting. When I was little my parents would buy me paint-by-number sets and really, I think that taught be a lot about how to shade and create depth and illusion with color at an early age. I have never taken an art class, and I recall talking with another artist years ago. He had made comments about my use of paint directly from the tube with no water added. He told me “I really wasn’t supposed to do that” and “you should not ever use pure black” It was at that moment I decided to never take an art class. I didn’t want to know “the rules” and have my hands tied by what is a right or wrong technique. I make it up as I go. I try new things – I mean that what art is, just putting it out there.
How do you describe your work/style?
I love the play of light and shadow, Anything shiny from the bumper of a car, to the polished wood of a finely crafted gun, to the sparkle of water drops makes me perk up and say “I need to paint that!” I love the juxtaposition of light and dark in a shadow. I also am drawn to subjects with lots of detail. Many of my paintings are close focus so I get to paint the tiniest detail and texture of whatever I’m looking at. Yes, a flower is beautiful, your dog is sweet, but if you get right up to the painting there is so much more to see than if you are looking from 4 feet away. That’s what I love about Watercolor; I can build layer upon layer and capture the delicate detail.
What do you hope others see in your work?
When someone looks at a painting of mine, I want them to smile. I hope to evoke a memory, perhaps of a place or a feeling, or the love of a pet or pride in something the have worked hard to own and is now captured in a painting.
What is your favorite piece of work that you have created?
I love to do commission work because I know I’m painting something that has a deep meaning to the person I’m painting for. A portrait of a loved horse, cat or dog that captures their unique personality will create a lasting memory. Painting a home can bring nostalgia to the heart of the owner. I have painted muscle cars and motorcycles, and in fact I was commissioned to paint the iconic 1967 Chevy Camaro of Guy Fieri from Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on the Food Network. There is no subject that is off-limits for me to paint except big vista landscapes, that’s just not what I do. My passion is for detail.
Do you have an artist statement or quote?
I think “Dance As If No One Were Watching” or maybe “Leap, And The Net Will Appear” I live by those mantras.
What’s on your walls?
Ha! My house looks like a Sunny art gallery!
As an artist, I am an observer and I capture my observations through my art. I choose from a wide range of characters and scenes that affect me. Artists are fortunate in that we are able to see so much – color, lines, shapes and relationships in the ordinary.
My art has been enormously influenced by growing up in the rural Midwest. My subjects are those things that give me joy in my life; my garden, long weekends boating and observations from the boat’s deck, my pets and their antics, and the views I see from the back of my horse riding the trails of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and now the beautiful state of Mississippi.
Watercolor is my medium of choice because it allows for so much more delicate detail than any other medium. I can capture the expression and character down to the last reflection and shadow. If, when viewing my work, you think “my pets have done that” or “I know a place like that”or a warm smile simply comes to your face then I have succeeded in my intentions as an artist.