Throughout my artist practice, my constant is a theme of absence. While each piece offers enough information to be identified as representational art, the limiting nature of the composition abstracts the subject. These images are momentary and restricted, leading to a line of questioning. What are you missing? What else was there? What has been left behind?
My latest work, Removed, centers on landscapes, specifically depicting my current home state of Colorado. The American West has long been thought of as the epitome of expansiveness and freedom. Historically, artists painted scenes of the West to replicate the awe initially felt by settlers in this majestic landscape. Today, we must work hard to find views in which the impact of humanity on the land is truly absent. The West is no longer raw and rural; it has been explored, settled, and groomed. My paintings confront our cultural notions of the classic western landscape and hold us accountable for our impact on this land. It is easy to admire a view from a car window, but in order to appreciate the natural elements, we must filter out all sorts of human construction – the power lines, road signs, pavement, and fence posts that obstruct our view. In my paintings, I eliminate these human elements, painting only that which we have not built ourselves– the mountains, plains, and sky. By leaving the man-made structures unpainted, I call attention to them. The resulting ghosts are elegant in their way, but also serve as a visual pause. How much of the physical view is removed when I expel the human presence from the narrative? We must admit the extent to which we have changed the world, so that we may appreciate and protect that which remains.