a native of southwest Virginia, I have long admired the
good humor, the fierce independence, and the forthright-
ness of the people who inhabit the Southern Appalachians.
It is with some melancholy that I have witnessed the homo-
genization of our modern world creeping even into the hol-
lows and ridges of Grayson County, my home. As the old-
er generation passes away, onecan only wonder at the fra-
gility of our heritage.
From a young age I have been drawn to the realism and
the treatment of light and shadow in the paintings of the
Old Masters. The luminosity of Vermeer's window scenes
and the chiaroscuro of Rembrandt are stirring in the way
they illuminate the human spirit. In my work I have sought
to portray the simple dignity of people--to search out the
uniqueness, the 'mannishness' of man. Personality and all
that makes man 'man' intrigues me, especially in the dwind-
ling light of post-modernism.
|We live in a
world filled with tension and confusion, the quest for
equilibrium a natural endeavor of the human spirit. Still life
painting, it seems to me, should embody just that-- a stillness, a sense of order, balance, and calm. I paint still lifes, in part, to
express a steadiness and serenity, to create order and a place where the viewer can go to rest and reflect.The success of the
paintings should be judged in their ability to elicit grace, solemnity and tranquility.
|Traditionally, I look back to
Simeon Chardin, who invested his pictures with unique solidity,
intimacy and unpretentious dignity. He painted with the ability
to lift simple people and common objects into a world of quiet
perfection, fostering a contemplation of the universal significance
of everyday things. In our increasingly secular and artificial times,
realism paradoxically can offer a means of transcendence. The
viewers connection to the reality of a scene can be treansformed
into a meditation and communion with the world. To challenge
the fundamental isolation of the individual is a worthy goal of art.