The seeds of my interest in creating art began as a child when I took a class on Saturday mornings. A minor in art history, a semester studying painting in Italy and various community art classes continued to feed my appetite for making. After spending the first several years of my career in education, for nearly the past decade I have pursued my own art practice. I often return to those early experiences, especially blind contour and color theory. Inspired by shapes and colors found in nature, fashion, the human form, ancient architecture, and negative spaces, I enter an uncharted process with each new work. Applying, removing and layering paint are the backbone of my progression. Unattachment is always the goal, as every work takes on an unexpected life of its own.
My work has been featured in New Orleans retail shops including The Sunday Shop and The Good Shop, and I have participated in several group shows at the New Orleans Art Center and a Prospect New Orleans partnership show. I live in New Orleans with my partner, 3 teenagers, 2 cats and a dog.
Photo: Harlin Miller @harlinmillerjr
Questions & Answers
Describe your art in three words.
Layered, saturated, moody
Describe yourself in one word.
What do you love the most about creating art in New Orleans? What particular part of your immediate environment, in your neighborhood specifically influences your work?
I value my art community so much! The support and encouragement is always there.
During daily walks in my neighborhood I encounter so much natural beauty, I am always taking photos of cracks in the sidewalk or resurrection ferns.
Describe your creative process. Are there any rituals or rites of passage you exercise before you begin a new piece?
A new piece often begins with a specific color or shape that I have noticed in art, fashion, nature, or architecture. As I get into the painting, color mixing become instinctive and the forms become more abstracted. Abstract/non-representational paintings often begin with a greater focus on shape and composition formed in blind contour drawings of something out my window, in my studio, or from an earlier sketch or photo of nature or ancient architecture.
Where do you draw inspiration?
Ancient architecture, nature, fashion, human form, negative spaces, unique color combinations
Who are your artistic influences or gurus?
Amy Smilovic (Tibi), Steve McCarthy (Song of the Sea), Wes Anderson (Isle of Dogs), Roald Dahl, Ezra Jack Keats, Shel Silverstein, Mary Oliver, Rohtko, Jennifer Packer, Aimee Farnet Siegel, Jordan Casteel
In New Orleans, art and music go hand in hand. What type of music, band or song lyric best describes your work?
My studio soundtrack is as varied as my moods: Shovels and Rope, Childish Gambino, Indigo Girls, Macklemore, Band of Horses, The Who, Rihanna, R.E.M., First Aid Kit, Lizzo, Bon Iver, Queen, Jay Z, Lorde, The Eagles, Haim, Sufjan Stevens, Brandi Carlile, Tracey Chapman, Avett Brothers
Where can we find you when you are not creating art?
Walking my dog Amy, hanging out with my family, watching Schitt’s Creek
What is your favorite time of day/day of the week/month of the year?
Golden hour, Friday, October
What is something people don’t know about you? A fun fact.
My favorite food is French fries with mayo.