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On Monsters and Sweetgum Pods
My current body of work is borne of an interest in stories and illustrations found in late 19th and early 20th century children’s picture books and in early modern Dutch art and theories of the visual. I am fascinated by images of the perennial pint-sized boy hero battling colossally cruel monsters, both internal and external, presented in many traditional literary fairy tales and modern fantasies. I am stimulated into generating my own images by the boundless beauty and infinite variety of natural objects and a plethora of collected drawn and painted images.
For better or worse, the images in picture books teach. We learn what to love, what to fear, and how to escape through our early consumption of these stories and pictures. They teach us about what it means to be human.
I’ve also attempted to engage in a narrative about the joy of the sense of sight. There is an exquisitely intimate, imaginative, and immersive interaction with art in illustrated books that is unique to childhood. It is only as children that are we freely allowed to wonder at the beauty and mystery of our world. I hope my work helps the viewer recall and examine that singular time.
“I, Said the Sparrow”, 10x8in., oil on panel, 2009. Two Birds.
“Hey Diddle Diddle and the Wonders of Nature (Study of a Cat and a Sweetgum Pod)”, 12x9in., oil on panel. 2009.
“Desiccated Davey” (diptych), each panel 5x5in., oil on panel, 2007.