Art is the core aspect of my life. And Classical Realism is the natural path for my visual and intellectual sensibilities. I’m most heavily influenced by great old masters, such as Ingres, David, Gerome, Rembrandt, Rubens and Bouguereau. I spend a lot of time studying works from the old masters because the secrets of their methods are visible in their paintings and drawings. I copy old master drawings, and I study ancient Greek and Roman casts. I believe in following the same path of study that the old master artists followed. Following the methodology of 15th century to 19th century artists has helped me develop the skills for my own body of work.
Teaching art is a very important part of my life. I’ve opened the door to classic methods and techniques to my students. I learned that teaching is not only important for passing on information and training to my students, but it’s also an invaluable aspect of my own artistic development. For me teaching is a symbiotic relationship between my students and myself. My students work mostly from life. I can’t teach them to see, but I can and do teach them what to look for. I teach them how to simplify the shapes and forms from the subject matter they are trying to recreate on their paper or canvas. I help them solve many pictorial problems from many different angles. This helps not only the student, but also it helps me to become a better artist.
When teaching an art class, I communicate my thought process, which invariably clarifies information for me as well as my students. It’s very gratifying to know that I have helped them increase their knowledge and skills and become better artists. My goal is to continue pursuing opportunities to teach in the studio setting, as well as teaching through writing instructional books and producing video demonstrations. Through books and videos, I will be able to reach art students around the world.
I constantly strive to make each new drawing and painting I complete better than my last. It’s the struggle to learn that motivates me to create new works of art. There is nothing else that compares to bringing something to life on paper or canvas. I use nature as my subject matter. All of nature interests me. Figurative, portraiture, still life and landscape subjects all have their own challenges and they can all be mastered today just as they have been mastered by artists in the past. I think we all have a unique way of seeing nature and recreating it on canvas. I don’t believe in contrived subject or technique. I use the knowledge and skill that I’ve acquired to help me create my own vision.
My ultimate goal is to be a productive and influential artist in my lifetime through my artwork and my teaching.