My work is often described as realism. However, these paintings stop quite short of – and in some areas just past – photo realism. Instead of capturing visual reality, my portraits are an attempt to capture the essence of being human. The portraits combine exaggerated characteristics with occasional use of text or vivid color as a counterpoint to the familiar forms of the human face and body. My focus is on the subjects: how they interrelate, how they portray themselves, and most importantly, how they make me feel. For this reason, I choose everyday people from my life as models. Equal attention is given to long relationships and fleeting glances; actual experiences are treated the same as invented encounters. The images are my memories – real or imagined – of these subjects.
When approaching a subject, I try to focus on the features that make each individual distinct. Each work is a study of the subject's every day routines and slight neuroses. Qualities that the subjects may not appreciate about themselves – moles, freckles, scars, etc. – I try to celebrate. I want my paintings to be a counterpoint to the retouched perfection and flawless beauty that we are exposed to every day on the internet, in magazines, and on television. For this reason the process of painting is just as important as the subjects. While the paintings appear quite realistic from across the room, they explode with abstraction when viewed from close range. The brush strokes are blended as little as possible, instead they are left obviously visible. Each color within the subject's skin tones is pulled to the surface and allowed to create chaotic patterns within the boundaries of the subject's body. Areas of interest are finely rendered, while those spaces that need less focus are left in unfinished abstraction.