Green Man, 16in x 48in, Mixed media on panel, Available
This piece is my neo-pagan take on the Green Man myth of personal transformation and represents for me the combination of removal of layers of misinformation with the eruption of root understandings of life and existence within it. It speaks of doors that once opened, can never be closed again. It is both terrifying and wondrous.
Evolutions, 36in x 48in, Acrylic on Panel, Available
Creating art is such a complicated and messy thing. For me there is no more vulnerable endeavour than to dig around in the chaotic soup of my internal world and then try to interpret it with form and colour in an external way. In doing this I allow the viewer to judge my process and ultimately me. There is a power exchange that occurs in this and a tendency I must fight is to withhold what is actually going on for me out of fear of whether the viewer can 'handle' it or not. Or to withhold what is actually going on because I judge it might create discomfort in the viewer or, ultimately, to withhold what is actually going on for me because I judge that the viewer may not wish to know what is actually happening, regardless of which feeling might be occurring. I look around me and see a constant fight to uphold the image of a generic, safe, white-washed variation of life and I just don't want to add to it anymore. I'm broken, but that doesn't mean you need to fix me, or even that I need fixing. There is beauty, honesty and vulnerability in the shattered pieces that make up my internal world. It's what I have to share and it's uniquely me.
Rosa Mae, 24in x 20in, Oil on Panel, NFS
This is my dad's converted salmon troller, the Rosa Mae. It was built by one of the Neuman brothers; can't remember if it was Larry or Curly. They are an old school family from the valley who's ties run deep in both the logging and fishing industries.
I feel incredibly drawn to the boats around me these days, especially fishing boats, as a large part of my teens and early twenties were spent working on various salmon trollers. It's an industry that has just about died out in comparison to what it used to be. During the 90's there was a concerted effort on behalf of the government to 'buy back' fishing licenses to try and reduce the pressure on salmon stocks. This resulted in thousands of boats without need for gear; I'm sure a bunch got scuttled but there are also a lot, like this one, that have been lovingly converted in to working/pleasure craft.
My time on these boats is hugely special to me; the experiences I carry as a result are truly unique and offer a wealth of stories to share.
Quick Like a Bunny, 18in x 24in, Mixed Media on Panel, Available
I've been mired in process for months now; stalling out at every turn as I labour through the muck of evolution. Is this how a butterfly feels before it finally breaks the threads of the cocoon to open its wings and glory in its new found freedom and form? The moment when all seems lost and redundant and futile. The battle at times appears immense and foreign and debilitating and lethargy inducing. This is artist's block in its full indifference. I hate it.
I am not excited by this process. I feel like I've been skinned and left to flee from the predators of judgment. My glistening blood soaked muscles shining in the sun as I run in white eyed panic from the predators of conformity. Leaving behind a blazing red trail of musty iron scent that even the most moribund fear could follow.
Hello my heart, I don't want to fight any more, I don't want to flee any more. What must I do to appease your endless desire for truth? Hold my hand before I flay what's left of my flesh in desperate atonement for imagined transgression. Can we meet somewhere and find common ground? Can we break bread together in sacred silence? Make peace and begin the dance anew?
CBWBS, 24in x 36in, Oil on Canvas, Available
I've had a passionate desire lately to set aside the rhythms of my 'heart to hand' approach and begin to truly refine my skills as a painter. I feel like I'm withdrawing in to the cave to hibernate and build and transform in to whatever is coming next. Like I'm wrapping myself in a cocoon and entering a chrysalis stage. Looking forward to unfolding my wings and coming back out in to the light with new beauty and truth to share with the world.
(This is my first completed work using oil on panel and I'm very excited about the potential this approach holds. It is so different from working with acrylics and I particularly like the chemistry of the oil process.)
Kekaha Kai, 48in x 72in, Acrylic on Canvas, Available
Our family went to Hawaii just before Christmas. It was glorious and trying and I had some of the most mind blowing moments of my life while we were there. This piece has some monkey trees of the Kekaha Kai state park on the big island in the background and a heavily polynesian influenced set of symbols surrounding it. In particular, the white infinite loop twist was a direct pull from the myth of the Polynesian peoples. We'd met a carver named Ben there (he hails from Tonga) and after some discussion with him about where I was at, he suggested a piece for me that looked just like this. It represents the union of masculine and feminine and it strikes me as the equivalent of the Polynesian yin yang.
This is a new style for me; I've never stepped in to this place before and I'm excited about where I'm heading. What occurred to me most strongly when contemplating what I'd created was the juxtaposition of the viewer and the viewed. I'm presently working on grasping how I define what I see and on a deeper level, what I am not seeing. I have a specific frame or filter that I look out at the world with and it seems my ability to manipulate my perceived reality is very powerful. I can create a visual and perceptual sense of the world that backs up my inner world perfectly. This is both fascinating and terrifying because at the same time that I can force how I see in to whatever box works at the time, I also have no idea what is actually happening in the world. So I am presently in a state of wondering what I'm missing.