An Artistic Statement
All reconstructions, restorations, and other visualizations of long-extinct animals (like dinosaurs) can only be done with art. There is immense appeal in illustrating things which can only be seen by modern human eyes after the evidence that they existed is revealed by scientific discovery, and invoking the imagination in this fashion is not only exciting but also motivates me to care about the lifeforms still on Earth.
Paleontology is a primary influence, since studying the past informs the present and permits us to prepare for the future. The impressive nature of extinct creatures can be used for the education of anyone interested in nature, children and adults alike. This is the root of my work. Education and the popularization of science is an essential part of what I make.
Creating popular work which merely captures the attention of an audience is useful, but I also assign myself goals to illuminate more obscure — but significant — creatures and environments.
I am world-traveled, having lived in Antigua, Japan, and remote places in the US like Adak. My experience in the world has shown that someone always knows more than I, and nothing I produce as an artist is possible without invoking the work and voices of others. I study papers, consult experts, visit museums to study, sketch, and photograph exhibits, and attend specialist meetings to discuss ideas more efficiently than I otherwise might. My task is to filter, condense, and finally synthesize visual imagery from this labor.
I enjoy using watercolor and gouache during draft executions of a piece in addition to the aforementioned sketching, but for committed, final work, I chiefly paint by hand in the computer using software and a tablet; in essence, painting with light. I have been learning and doing this since 1995 and I’m motivated to constantly expand the range and depth of my skills and am always striving to learn and do more every day.