These paintings explore themes of spirit and struggle within our 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. Artists such as, Martin Johnson Heade, George Inness, Thomas Moran, James Audubon 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 rose colored field glasses of dreamy romantics.
My work builds on stories (either real or conjectured), and my observations and concerns for wild creatures that move within the shrinking natural Florida environs they still manage to inhabit. Creatures moving between and over one another, trying to survive the persistent pressure and chaos of our human self concerned lives with-in a darkening illumination of their own fading wilderness.
Yet, still, in 2019, powerful birds, vigilant panthers, wary gators, audacious bears, blackwater swamps, old cypress trees, still survive in the American southeast, just beyond the highways and careening logging trucks, citrus stands and track housing. My work is not so much an indictment of, development, hunting, clear-cutting or carnage of the animals on our backroads and highways, but, more of a prompt to steer we human “sinners” from our current road to perdition, back on to a path of righteous stewardship of the, “natural” environment.
My work is really about our relationship to all other living creatures at this precarious moment, a place midway between hope and despair.