When it comes to art, I put myself and my feelings on the world into what my hands create. We as modern society has become increasingly disconnected from our planet. Various depictions of nature are an ongoing focus in my work ranging from charcoal landscapes to abstract nature inspired sculptures. My current paintings and installations speak to a warming planet, invasive plant and animal species, plastics, and environmental transformations caused by humankind and their effect on our landscape and natural resources. We have come to see our planet as a mine to extract the resources we need to maintain our extravagant lifestyles, and as a dumping station for our toxic waste products. To secure a “habitat” for future generations (of humankind as well as other species) it is essential that we tune ourselves in with nature and re-gain greater awareness of our planet, understand it better and take better stewardship of it. Much of my work is an attempt to provide the viewer with a starting point to begin contemplating their own landscape and possibly their part in its preservation.
I believe that through the means of art it is possible to point out the importance of environmental soundness - through speaking to emotion and passion for nature, and through unlocking an ancient sense of freedom and awe. I believe that admiration for nature is inherent in all of us but tends to get muted for a majority of our planet’s population who live busy consumer-oriented lifestyles. I believe that I as an artist, have the power to reach out to society and direct public attention in an inspirational non-intrusive way that might reach audiences more readily than plain results of scientific study - which can seem inaccessible or tedious. In a recent work titled Drought, I used soil and clay that I had collected from different areas of Oklahoma and made an abstract aerial view of the state. To express how little rainfall was hitting certain areas, I mixed in different amounts of acrylic medium with the clay pigment according to the most recent Oklahoma Drought Monitor.
My artworks are art/research projects. My projects start with extensive photographs, sound recordings, note-taking, and writing while in nature; as well as researching about places and their historical, societal, and ecological circumstances. Because of my close connection to nature and the deep sense of responsibility I feel towards the planet, several of my installations, such as Faucet 1, call attention to environmental concerns. As a result, I pay close attention to the materials I use, often employing the elements around me as source material. I collect or borrow from nature as well as introduce manmade or machine-made materials for a subtle reminder of human civilization.