I first discovered your work at Art! Vancouver. Your contemporary surrealist works caught my attention. You feature controversial subject matter with political innuendo. What inspired you to create this particular series and how did you choose your subjects?
I have a real fascination with ‘icons’; politicians, celebrities, religious figures etc… A lot of my paintings will display some public figure representing a certain message, often surrounded by odd objects that make no sense to the viewer. I’ll rarely explain my paintings to anyone because there are some things you just can’t put into words, it’s hard for me to find words that sum up experiences, dreams, memories etc… This is why I consider myself a painter, not a writer.
Only 7-9% of communication is expressed through words, the rest is conveyed through observing. But if I had to take a stab at it, I’d say my work depicts a lot of mass manipulation, fear, consumption and social norms. I like to convey day-to-day life on planet earth through my eyes, life on earth with all the corrupt politicians and wars over which religion is better. Dreams, meditation, and thoughts also make up a big part of my work, finding images and content from within your own mind is very special and so often overlooked. The level of unoriginality these days is super high.
You are born and raised in Alberta, Canada. Does your Canadian heritage have any influence over your work? I see you have also been known to paint wildlife as well.
Yes, I also do some wildlife-type art. I do believe it is possible for artists to have multiple subject matters. My wildlife art is more straightforward; ‘what you see is what you get’. There really isn’t much meaning behind it, it’s just me trying to capture a beautiful scene. I am grateful I live in Alberta, Canada where I am so close to the mountains and always surrounded by such amazing wildlife.
Can you please tell me more about your creative process? What mediums do you prefer to use consistently? Do you see yourself experimenting with a variety of mediums in the future?
I only use oil paints, sometimes I will fill blank spaces in with acrylic or spray paint, but I am an oil painter for life. I have no intentions of exploring other mediums, I found what works for me and I plan to stick with it. I started out painting with acrylics and slowly switched over to oils. Oil paints just flow so smooth and stay wet for much longer. Oil paints are the same as they were hundreds of years ago, the same material Van Gogh and Leonardo Da Vinci used.
Have you seen an obvious transformation in your work from where you started to where you are at this point in time?
I am still very new to the whole art scene, I’ve been painting for 6 years now but I’ve only started venturing out and being part of shows. Everything is always a constant learning curve. I feel as though my work continues to improve as far as overall presentation. I’m not sure where I see myself headed, but I plan on continuing to paint for a long long time.
What’s next for you on your creative journey? Do you have any upcoming projects you are looking forward to?
I am part of a show in February (2018) in Toronto; The Artists Project. I’m looking forward to it, I’ve been busy working on paintings for that. My paintings will be bigger and a lot more intricate. A lot more thought is going into the planning possess of each painting, I am excited to see the end results. I like doing large shows because I can interact with a huge number of people and it’s interesting to hear their views on my work. It’s also just nice to get out and talk with other artists, there aren’t a lot of serious artists where I’m from.