These paintings explore themes of spirit and struggle within the modern world’s ”natural environments”. Plants and animals, which are still able to survive although often, in small isolated natural habitats and the effects of their inevitable, forced migration, dislocation or isolation.
I've been interested in a group of painters who came to Florida from the Northeastern United States immediately following the Civil War. Artist such as, Martin Johnson Heade, George Inness, Thomas Moran and Winslow Homer to name but a few. They came with and painted with a romantic vision of this exotic southern landscape. Although they looked at this world as artists with some scientific curiosity and even concerns, they still painted it through the rose colored field glasses of dreamy romantics.
My works build on stories (either real or conjectured), along with my own observations and concerns for the creatures that move within the shrinking environs they inhabit. Creatures moving between and over one another, trying to survive the chaos of our own self concerned lives, with in the darkening illuminations of their fading wilderness.
Still, even in 2018, powerful birds, vigilant panthers, wary gators, blackwater swamps, old cypress trees, still manage to survive in Florida. Follow the back roads, pass the citrus stands, and careening logging trucks.
The work is really about a moment, midway between hope and despair.