My artwork has been called realistic and representational, yet I feel that it extends beyond the boundaries of these two labels. Interpretive realism and traditionally inspired may be a closer description.
My influences have been the master painters of Italian Renaissance, and I also admire the work of Kathe Kollwitz, Dick Ket, Lucian Freud, Antonio Lopez Garcia, and Stanley Spencer.
I've had many wonderful teachers, but the greatest lessons came from the art in the drawing cabinets, museums, and churches of Europe, where I studied and traveled for three years. My maturity as a young artist developed while living and painting for two of those years in a small village in Italy where my parents originated.
I do all of my compositional line drawings on location. At a later date, I work out the lights and shadows in my studio, creating the atmosphere I want to express. I then use the finished drawings for information when it comes time to create the paintings.
Although the warm and dreamlike quality of European light, so different from the cooler North American light, came through in my earlier art, I am more interested at this point in peering into the shadows, which have their own glow.
I want the viewer to be drawn into the work, captured by the detail, and step closer to discover what is in it. However, I hope people will also look beyond that aspect to find a deeper, more significant meaning.
Many have labelled my work as spiritual, although I do not consider myself as a religious person. Symbolic images are prevalent in many of my works, but not entirely.
Rather than achieving a full, realistic likeness, I try to capture the feeling I get from a mental visualization of my subject. I imagine it rather than copy it. Subject is less important than mood and feeling, of which both come from within me. Therefore, I would call my work interpretive. I put so much of myself into my paintings that each one becomes a self-portrait.