My Style

My interests are varied. Impressionistic rendering of the human figure and animals has interested me for many years. Sculpture in bronze allows me to portray motion and energy in unique ways. I strive to capture the feeling of the person or the animal as well as the physical gesture. Watercolor painting is a medium that is both tame and wild. It works with me to create the best images but frets if too tightly controlled. Being from south Texas, an area which is almost perpetually drought stricken, I am acutely aware of the preciousness of water. Painting with it is homage and message.

Subject Matter
I am pursuing several themes simultaneously like books you read depending on the mood you are in are in. The themes may be manifest in watercolor or sculpture.

I am in my sixties. The women I know share with me their concerns, joys and sorrows about loosing their looks, their husbands, their children and health. Yet they amaze me with their resilience and strength. They are inspirational and always interesting models, if I can persuade them to pose. The best are often too busy!

The progression to old age also is on my mind as I feel it creeping into my knees. I watched and lost, sadly, a wonderful father to Alzheimer's disease. He embodied all that was strong and virile. Alzheimer’s and time slowly sapped these qualities away. Like water drying up. I use the metaphor of bones and deserts for age and water for life. Shells, fish, leaves, flowers and seeds are softer, more ephemeral metaphors for these same subjects.

Motion and Energy
I like doing action pieces. Polo, a sport I have been around since a child, fox hunting, and dance, are topics. The exuberance, the intensity, the abandon, of the participants is a joy and a challenge to capture in sculpture.

Myths of different cultures are parables and usually harbor deep metaphor, whether the source is the Iliad, the Koran, the Bible, or the Book of Kells. The mystery of fairies, what their origins are, who believes in them and why, is intriguing. Fairies are delightful, mischievous, naughty, gracious, evil, generous, ugly, and beautiful. Like many people, their values differ markedly from mine. They are unpredictable and dishonest. They personify those qualities to extreme that we want or despise. They are hyperbole and whimsy, imaginary and frightening. They are teaching tools, reminders of our own foibles and faults.

Coming from Texas and having a farm in Maryland, I am acutely aware of the luxury of abundant water. Water becomes increasingly precious as we use and abuse it. A blue heron fishing, an eagle diving, drought, deluge, we see the interconnectedness of water with life around us daily, or do we notice? I sailed around the world in 1999 and 2000. The experience crystallized concerns about the stewardship of all our natural resources, but especially water and fish.

The tuna in this painting is dying on dry land, and the seeds in the wind are its eggs never to be hatched...while we enjoy a good meal. The largest tuna lay exponentially more eggs but they are also the most valuable. Protein resources of the sea are under severe pressure. Either profit or hunger motives can override the need to conserve healthy breeding stock of fish and crustaceans. Sizes and quantities of fish are down in the south Pacific and along the coast of India. The Mediterranean has few fish. Only the Arabian Sea seems to have a plentiful supply. My evidence is the markets I visited in each of the areas and the fishermen I talked to. Farmed sources may become increasingly necessary everywhere.

The rift between Islam and the rest of the world seems not to heal. Lack of education, economic stagnation and unemployment are fertile ground for violence anywhere. Education which gives useful skills and knowledge may take time, but it is vital if people are to be employable and therefore vested in the welfare of their own communities. Law and security are equally necessary. Cross-cultural understanding between the faiths must be encouraged. This image of the balloon in flag pattern on broken glass and a knife from Yemen is called “America the Beautiful”. The horse skull is a reference to the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The title refers to the song of the same name. It was done soon after September 11, 2001.

Are we who we think we are?
February 2014