What inspired your winning entry? My initial inspiration for this painting was more technical than anything else, which is often the case for me. I wanted to push things to the extreme on multiple levels. In terms of composition, making an interesting still life with this angled view on a white background is a huge challenge. I also wanted to push focus to the extreme, using all the tools at my disposal. The focal onion is the nucleus of value, color, and detail.
How would you describe your style? My paintings are simple and focused. That’s where I enjoy finding beauty.
What artists, living or deceased, have influenced your work? I began my painting journey with still life, and so I found early inspiration in David Leffel and Jeff Legg. I’ve been influenced by artists such as Nicolai Fechin, Jeremy Mann, and Alex Kanevsky, whose paintings demonstrate a mastery of balance between looseness and precision. Cartoonist Chris Ware inspires me with his originality and invention. And most of all, the sculptures by Bernini for their gut-wrenching drama.
If you weren’t an artist, what would you be? A firefighter, fiction writer, or musician—three things I have zero experience in.
What is one thing you will never paint? I will never paint something I’m not excited about.
What’s the most meaningful recognition you’ve received for your artwork? Collector feedback on how much they enjoy my art on a daily basis.
When you are not painting, what do you enjoy doing? I enjoy lifting weights because it is a meditation for me. I enjoy being a husband and dad; playing old-school, tabletop role-playing games; and being obsessed with Star Trek.
Featured in the December 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
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