Originally from St. Catharines, Ontario, I moved to Vancouver, BC in 1995 after attending a one-year Art Fundamentals course at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario. I pursued a career in tattooing but after a few years I found it to be too stressful and I decided to focus on painting instead.
I started painting with acrylics but never felt comfortable with the medium. I had a strong desire to paint but felt frustrated and limited. I switched to oil paint and everything changed instantly. Suddenly painting was fun and I could express my ideas more easily. Determined to figure it out, I read books from the library and practiced. I took a night school class at a local college. I made mistakes and learnt as I went .
In the late 1990’s, I became part of Vancouver’s Lowbrow art scene and travelled down the coast to Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and LA doing shows and meeting artists in the wider world of the Lowbrow and Pop-Surrealism scene. Things changed for me in 2005 when I developed some serious addiction issues and struggled with mental illness. Although I stopped doing shows and meeting artists, I was still making art and I managed to create a large body of work which I am just starting to show now.
I have been working on a group of paintings since 2013. The series is called “All in My Head”. It started when I saw a clip from an old silent movie with dancers wearing sailing ships as hats. Around the same time I also saw a picture of a character with machinery on their head and the idea was born. I started thinking about what I could put on a head and what it could mean. As I was creating the heads with their stories, I didn’t always plan it out. Sometimes I would just draw the head and then start adding things to it. One thing would lead to another and while keeping the composition in mind, I would let my mind wander while I was working on it. There would be time later to understand why the painting turned out the way it did and to find a deeper meaning.
Sometimes I wonder if the reason I came to explore this theme is that I am trying to get what is in my head, out of my head. Maybe it’s easier to make sense of it that way. Maybe I need things to come out into the light and find some breathing room. I use symbols in my art because when the symbols combine together, they create a story. I don’t expect that the story will make sense to anyone but myself. Sometimes it doesn’t even make sense to me, still, I hope the viewer finds something of their own to take away with them.