“One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality.”
I am a native of St. James, Long Island, New York. My love of nature began early as I roamed the fields, woods, and beaches of the North Shore. I was educated at local private schools that provided me with a diverse curriculum, which later led me to pursue a variety of courses in colleges.
I received my Bachelor’s of Fine Art from New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), and soon thereafter left the city for the rural life along the beaches of Montauk, where I lived for seven years. My painterly approach to nature evolved out of the commercial illustration training I received at FIT.
During this time, I developed the work that became my Montauk Rocks series, and also became certified to teach Art in New York, and then continued with graduate studies to earn a Master’s in Literacy Education. Completing my graduate degree in Education from Southampton College, I moved to the North Fork, where the geological makeup of the Long Island Sound’s shore began to influence my more recent paintings. I am currently continuing work in this series, using the North Shore as my inspiration.
But why rocks? I am often asked. So often, we step on them, over them, around them, stub our toes on them. But do we ever really look at them?
Rocks, to me, give a clue to Earth’s origins, and I have always been fascinated by the origins of things. To pick one up and hold it is to hold a piece of Earth’s history in my hand.
I see the work of God in rocks: the infinite variations and sense of vast time they signify. Rocks invite me to ponder timelessness, to wonder about events which shaped our Earth, and to pay reverence to overlooked beauty.
It is easy to get caught up in the daily minutiae of life and forget that we are a part of a much greater whole. I paint rocks because I want to say, “Hey! Stop! Look, and observe the small beauty that surrounds us!”
I paint rocks in response to this culture’s notion that there is one acceptable idea of beauty, of perfection. Through the rocks, I explore how we are all similar and beautiful, yet vastly different.
Caravaggio struck me early on with his dramatic, bold use of chiaroscuro; the painterly realism of Edward Hopper inspires me with his portrayal of beauty in the ordinary; and I look to Georgia O’Keefe’s intimate studies of flowers as I paint rocks with lush colors and emphasize their rich, varying textures and imbue them with vitality and intensity.