My artwork—paintings and illustrations mostly—has several primary themes: vernacular architecture in a precisionist style, narrative explorations of a character type, and simple object paintings. In all of them, selections and choices are made with respect for traditional choices, but also with playful activism; I take tradition very seriously, but I try not to take myself too seriously.
Color choices and effects have always been an interest. I work with a very limited palette of four or five paint colors. Images are usually developed as sketches or compositions before they are completed. I place high priority on draftsmanship and design. I freely borrow from artistic concepts and “scrap” that inspire me. Most of my work is small-scale, primarily because of the realities of studio space and storage.
Other people (respected artists and acquaintances) have called my artwork contemplative, intelligent, witty, American, well-designed, colorful, cheeky, careful, and illustrative. On most days I am comfortable with all of those attributes. I deeply admire plenty of art that can’t be described with those adjectives, but I am who I am, right?
I am an artist, educator, and writer. My artwork is shown regionally; I have been invited and juried into exhibitions and collectives in Wisconsin and Minnesota.
I received my artistic education at Winona State University (MN) and University of Wisconsin-Madison. The members of my M.F.A. committee at Madison included two painters (a representational artist and a conceptual artist), a color expert, and an early modernist poetry scholar. Between then and now, I have worked full-time at a number of careers, including art director at a publishing house, and I have taught full-time at three different universities, including 13 years (currently) at Wisconsin Lutheran College, Milwaukee.
Here are my professional and avocational interests: theories of creativity, theories of time, concepts of vocation, children’s picture book illustration, applied color, and jazz music. For example, I may have one of the world’s most complete collections of Elvin Jones’ (jazz drummer) recordings.
My wife and I recently moved to Waukesha, after living in West Bend for over 20 years.