Tell us a little about yourself. Where did you start your journey into the art world?
I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. My passion was always drawing and painting from a young age. I have quite a few artists in my family so it was always a part of my life.
Art class was one of the only courses I excelled in, so when it came to applying for university, art school seemed to be the only option.
I ended up going to Ontario College of Art and design University (OCADU) and I fell into the illustration program. I really enjoyed it. I was an illustrator for 8 years. I’ve illustrated many book covers including 6 John Steinbeck novels for Penguin.
I always had the desire to be a painter though, and I continued painting on the side. Eventually I joined a friends studio space and decided to show my paintings in the gallery space. It was well received and slowly my career shifted to painting full time.
Could you tell us about your works. what meanings do you put into them? Is there a hidden meaning in your works that the viewer probably will not see?
My work interweaves figurative painting with a combination of abstract expressionism, geometric abstraction, and conventions of the painted still-life. The concept is created digitally on the computer and then projected onto the canvas. The ‘physical’ painting gives the illusion that they are digital. The work therefore works in polarities: analog and post-analog mark-making; feminine and masculine; pragmatism and Romanticism; expressiveness and obfuscation; light and dark.
What is the value of inspiration in creating a new work or series of paintings for you?
I find inspiration in experimentation. Usually when I start a show or a series of new paintings, I allow myself a week or two of going into the studio with the intentions of failing. I think curiosity keeps me motivated and inspired. Discovering new ways of approaching my work is by far the most rewarding part of doing what I do.
Tell us about your studio, what kind of place and how much time do you spend there?
My studio is a garage. I love it. I keep the garage door open in spring/summer and I have skylights so there is a lot of natural light. My landlord also has a garden that I have access to. It’s very convenient from my house (a 7 minute bike ride).
I work alone in the space, so it can be a bit isolating, but it keeps me focused and I work almost everyday. I feel like I have to/I want to.
What does your normal working day look like and where does the work begin?
I’m usually up at 8am. I have a pretty regimented schedule at the studio and I’m a morning person. I get there for 830-9am and I usually have a coffee/write some emails and get down to painting. It all depends on the day. Sometimes I’m working on a show, and other days I could be working on commissions or even just experimenting and trying out new things. I leave around 7 or 8pm and I try to do some yoga at some point. It’s a good way for me to reset and clear my head.
Tell us about your plans for the remainder of this year. Do you have planned exhibitions?
I’m doing a few residencies and I’m on the lookout for more. I have one in October in Key Biscayne, Florida. I’m also doing a 50ft mural in Ottawa in November. No exhibitions at the moment for 2019. I’m taking a little break right now.
Thoughts which you would like to share with readers.
My prediction is that I will live until 86. SEE YOU TOMORROW.