Once an artist always an artist, I knew I wanted to be an artist the first time I visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art in N.Y.C. as a kid on a shcool trip. Above the coat check counter was the massive painting of Joan of Arc by Jules Bastien-Lepage. I just stood and stared at it gobsmacked mouth open and thought to myself 'I want to do that', and that was it I was an artist from that point on. As a teenager I apprenticed in a photo retouching studio in New York City and went on to be a commercial artist, I didn't start doing fine are painting seriously till after my mother died of cancer in 1997 and it made me realise how short life is. I came to Scotland to attend Edinburgh College of Art in 2006 to get the piece of paper to say I was a 'real' artist and have been here since. My family, both sides, are from Glasgow and I lived there when I was two and my brother was born, but the family moved back to the U.S. shortly after. So I am the first one to come back to the homeland- and I love it here in Scotland!
I use everything pretty much. Not an expert in oil painting though.
I hope to achieve one of two things with my work, or preferably both. One, to touch the viewers emotions, two, to make them think.
Think about what? Well, to think about perceptions, I want each viewer to relate to the art on a personal level, to interpret the work as how it relates to them and their personal experiences.
As people we are conditioned to 'see' things in a way that is fitting to how we have been influenced by society around us. More often than not images we see everyday are produced with the goal of presenting what the creator wants us to 'think' the image is about, not an accurate depiction of the reality of what ever the subject is. We are bombarded from every angle with images of how we should look, act, and the life style we should aspire to.
The perfect example of what I am talking about is the photos that are shown on the news of abused children. Notice how the children in these photos are always smiling and look happy? Even the most depraved psychopaths know that if they take photos of their kids they have to show them happy and smiling when in reality the last thing these poor children are.... is happy.
By using common images presented in an uncommon composition the viewer is presented with an entirely different subject.
As far as portraits go I prefer more natural compositions, we don't sit or stand around in traditional portrait poses, so why should artwork represent us that way. I like to do an occasional traditional portrait just because I love painting /drawing people, but much prefer to catch a glimmer of their personality with a more natural setting. I have had more than one recipient of a portrait brought to tears reacting to seeing the work for the first time. I just love capturing snippets of peoples lives in artwork.