Artist Statement (Current series 2022 – present)

My work is about creating intimate portraits. The inspiration for my new series comes from seeing the work of Canadian artist Lilias Torrance Newton’s portraits years ago at the Musée des Beaux-arts de Montréal. In particular, “Winkie” is an image I always come back to. I always feel this push and pull in her portraits that I strive for in my own. On one hand, I feel a closeness to her subjects created by her colour palette and poses, and on the other hand, I feel a distance created by her expressionist style, something that develops a lot of sympathy for me. Beginning with some of Newton’s setups, I look to create a similar tension by situating moments of expressionism within otherwise a realist framework. Photography aids in this process and continues to be a vital part of my painting process, influencing how I stage, dress, and frame my subjects.

Artist Statement (Past series 2017 – 2020)

My work celebrates the moments where parental responsibilities are assumed, familial intimacy is established, and childhood memories are formed. Special attention is given to children, toys, and childcare paraphernalia, the sight of which can convey feelings of guilt and affectionate longing, especially among parents. I seek to draw these feelings to the surface by depicting my subjects in vibrant hues, surreal lighting schemes, and tender brushstrokes. Each work in my series develops as a sensitive exploration of colour. Working from prepared photographic materials, I develop an intimate relationship with my subjects, gradually fine-tuning their image’s emotional and spatial qualities through successive glazes of paint. The result is a tableau whose posed image is simultaneously intensified and counterbalanced by optical abstraction.

Artist Statement (MFA series 2015 – 2017)

Increasingly, my work in portraiture combines related interests in photography and stage lighting. As a result, my most recent work sees the emergence of light as a significant character and subject alongside the work’s core human interests. I am fascinated by the endless ways in which light alters our perception of people. Illuminating subjects in fantastical stage lighting, I am able to take advantage of coloured shapes, shadows, and colour casts to repeat further and distort the human subject. In staging my models, I find I capture moments in a shot that evoke something deeper about their person and identity. The final product is a painting where both the subject and pigment perform the qualities of the light that ushered them into existence.