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I was born in Boulder, Colorado in 1978. My parents were students of the Tibetan Buddhist guru Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Throughout my childhood I was exposed to the culture of mediation and Vajrayana Buddhism as well as the beautiful mountains of Colorado’s Front Range. As a child I would attend Vajrayana feast ceremonies and public lectures with Trungpa Rinpoche. Artistic mindfulness practices such as Ikabana flower arranging, spontaneous poetry recitations called dohas and various forms of calligraphy were intrinsic to my early education. The impression of an artistic practice that sees Buddhist philosophy and mindfulness practice woven into the fabric of the creative process continue to impact my way of viewing the world and my artistic approach.
My interest in art began at a young age watching my mother paint and loosing myself in graphic novels. But my passion for art significantly deepened when I began studying at The Boulder Academy of Fine art under the instruction of Elvie Davis. Elvie was a student of Claton Martindale, who was a student of John Singer Sargent. The approach at the academy was rooted in the Italian atelier tradition, which included a thorough investigation of human anatomy, principles of classical drawing and painting.
Since those early days I’ve been on an artistic journey that has led me to study at in Philadelphia at The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, in Florence, Italy at the Studio Art Centers International, The New York Studio School with Graham Nickson, Anderson Ranch with Enrique Martinez Celaya, MSU Denver where I earned my BFA and Louisiana State University where I earned my MFA. I have attended residencies at The Vermont Studio Center, Sachaqua Centro de Arte in the Amazon of Peru and Taleamor Park in Indiana.
My approach to the creative process is informed by my Buddhist upbringing. In plain words, I’m more interested in what can be discovered and revealed than I am in expressing a pre-determined idea or agenda through my work. This means that experimentation, improvisation and maintaining a keen interest in what the painting needs in order to function at its best are my top priorities while working.
Although I am drawn to certain subject matter and certain themes or compositional designs recur in my work, I am not particularly interested in the ideas, concepts or symbolism that some artists find important in their chosen subject matter. For example, in my work the human body is a locus of psychological and emotional human experience, not a political or social symbol. Water is something that is felt, triggers memories and functions in an organic way throughout a composition. I’m not explicitly addressing climate change by making a painting about a flood.
My paintings function in a variety of ways, but one of the most important is that the paintings function as relics of the process by which they are made. Whatever techniques, thoughts, moods, or other experiences I have while making them are intrinsically fused into the DNA of the paintings. Therefore, when I enter into a flow state while making a painting, that Samadhi-like state of consciousness is embedded in the work and can forever be seen by the viewer. This empowers the painting to exude a healing and rejuvenating effect to those that view the work.
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