ARTIST'S STATEMENT I attempt for my artwork to be an exclamation against boredom. By taking elements or pieces of everyday life and twisting or altering them in a whimsical fashion, I intend for my work to be a welcome relief from reality.
Often the juxtaposition of two or more relatively familiar objects can create unique relationships, coaxing the eye and mind to unfold all the possible riddles that lie in the artwork. Important in this concept is the injection of the pun.
Humor plays an important role in my art. I like to think that my artistic style is unique and self-derived, however, I am sure many influences converge to create my own particular form of expression. I try not to commit to either realism or abstraction --- lurking somewhere between surrealism and distorted reality.
I create art because I am addicted to the process the unexplainable surge of inspiration; the development of that idea; the construction procedure and intimacy with the material; and finally the presentation --- the power within is released. Each art piece represents my existence in bits and pieces --- my struggles, happiness, questions --- a short story that I need to disclose. More recently, I have created artwork that reflects upon my spiritual journey. Because I am trying to communicate various ideas, it is important to me what the viewer feels and thinks about each artwork.
My approach to producing art is obviously tied to the fact that I am a teacher of art. The ability to create artwork without it representing my primary source of income has allowed me a certain degree of creative freedom that other artists cannot afford. Furthermore, working in this type of learning environment enhances my own desire to create.
To define the influences that have had a significant impact on my artwork is difficult. Certainly a major factor in my artistic development was the instruction and contribution from my ceramics teachers. The most influential was Masako Miyata, who passed on to me a deeper understanding of the Japanese tradition in both lifestyle and creation of art forms. No less important however, but hard to measure, is my somewhat conservative Mennonite upbringing in the peripheral regions of Appalachia that stressed responsibility, a self-sufficient attitude, and a common-sense mentality. This background has enabled me to learn many trades --- carpentry, plumbing, electricity, masonry which is reflected in my artwork in various ways. This particular blend of influences has resulted in a style of art that has been called Jappalachian.
I find comfort in the realization that I am continually inspired to create artwork--- but time is running out while my bucket list of artwork to be constructed is growing.