What are your greatest artistic accomplishments?
The Account of The Royal Tar which was on exhibit at the Farnsworth Art Museum in a show called The Art of Disaster is probably my most significant artistic accomplishment. It’s a 35 foot long hand-painted illustration of the final voyage of the Royal Tar presented in a vintage wooden shipping crate. There are knobs on the top of the box that enable the viewer to crank through the scroll which is illuminated from the rear of the box and framed in a vintage gold and black viewing window. Inked images depict the devastating true story of the vessel named the Royal Tar which was transporting a circus from Canada to Portland, Maine when it burned and sank in Penobscot Bay in 1836.
Truthfully though, I think my most significant accomplishment has been to keep maintaining a creative practice. It is so easy to get side-tracked and be extremely tough on yourself when you work alone in a studio. Continuing to show up and do the work feels like a big accomplishment.
What does a typical work day look like for you?
My days tend to vary quite a bit. I work best from about 9am-11am and then again from 1pm-3pm. Some days are productive, some less so. I strive for 3-4 hours of actual painting a day, which is usually flanked by all the other things that come with representing yourself as an artist, like marketing, writing proposals for grants. residencies, and doing research for upcoming projects.
When you work, what is your choice for music?
Classical music or alpha waves are my go to studio music choices.
What are the foods that you eat every day?
Breakfast is usually leftovers, salad with egg on top, or banana and peanut butter. Oh, and coffee! For lunch and dinner I eat a lot of beans and rice, vegetables, and canned fish, like sardines and herring. Cheap and healthy is my jam.
What do you do on your days off?
When I take time off I like to get outside and play! I hike in the Camden Hills, swim in the ocean, and occasionally go sailing. There are always home chores to get done, too, and I enjoy the satisfaction of keeping things in order.
Are there any physical activities that you enjoy or that you feel compliment your art making?
Expressive movement (like dance) and cardio activities (like running and swimming) are ways that I help maintain an active and healthy lifestyle. I often find that creative ideas will come to me while I’m out on a long run, too. Recently I have started a sitting meditation practice before I begin a big painting. I’ve noticed a looser, more expressive painting quality emerge since I started meditating.
When you hit a creative block what’s your strategy to get through it?
Practicing patience, getting outdoors, exercising, reading or talking to other artists is the most effective strategy for me.
What books or authors do you recommend to your friends most often?
I love The Art Spirit by Robert Henri, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard, and Orion magazine.