I use painting to explore the world around me and, through the tools of brush and paint, come to a deeper understanding of the landscapes that I love. Growing up in Greenwood, Virginia and spending time on my family’s mountain property, I formed a deep attachment to the region and have carried that with me throughout my life. I studied art at the University of Virginia with painters Richard Crozier and Philip Geiger. After graduating, I continued painting the Virginia landscape, showing work locally as well as in Richmond and Farmville. The idea of Place and how we form memories and attachment to the land fascinated me and I decided to attend graduate school to deepen my knowledge of painting and how I could use it to understand and celebrate the world around me. I earned my Master’s degree in Fine Arts at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. In the Spring of 2011, I returned to Charlottesville to teach in the Art Department at UVA and to continue painting the landscape I love most.
Every painting is a question I pose to myself, about the landscape, about my relationship to my environment, about the specificities of where I am. How does this moment feel? How does the atmosphere, the topography, the light affect me? How can I communicate these sensations honestly and clearly? The answer comes through editing, through paring down and cutting out extraneous detail and any sense of illustration to discover what is essential about a place. The answer also comes through using paint as an investigative tool that can take on the textures and colors of earth and sky, allowing me to reconstruct my surroundings on the canvas. All the work begins with direct observation and, by asking and answering questions, grows into a painting that does not describe but embodies the qualities of a particular moment in a particular landscape. I am a painter of a very specific region and I want my viewers to feel instinctively where these paintings come from. I am paying homage, as well as fostering my own need to be oriented, to be grounded, to know where I am and to feel connected to that place.