“Tell me your story.”
Lately, I have been getting this a lot. If I wasn’t an artist and hadn’t already thought about this exact question, I wonder how easy it would be to convey my story. Luckily, I have put a lot of thought and focus on my story – and this is what it means to me every time I make a piece of artwork. To see my art, please visit my website.
Defining the West
Since a small child, I’ve loved discovering the history and the stories that defined the West. Looking back on my childhood, I feel fortunate to be raised in an area rich with history and culture, forming the foundation for my artwork.
Growing up in the Santa Ynez Valley, steeped with a wealth of ranching and cowboy traditions, it ignited a passion for understanding the history that characterized our nation. Needless to say, I fell in love with the cowboy and the traditions surrounding me. These traditions fueled my imagination and desire to understand the American Culture.
In attempting to understand these traditions, I discovered how closely intertwined the Native Americans impacted American culture. Upon discovering a book “Ishi, Living in Two Worlds” it helped me immensely understand the plight and impact of our heritage as Americans. The book documents one of the last living members of the Yahi tribe, his story and what his story meant to Americans in the early 1900’s. His story symbolizes the disappearance of the Native American, the loss of a culture and the impact Native American traditions had in characterizing the West.
While the Cowboy and the Native American inspired dreams of independence and freedom, the transcontinental railroad connected the young country. Ultimately, the railroad helped to fuel the dreams of hundreds yearning for a new beginning, with the unwritten promise of independence, excitement and exploration. These unwritten promises changed the lives of so many. Because the trains were the most modern industrial product available, the western frontier experienced dramatic changes. These changes came fast to our young nation, ultimately impacting the lives of Native Americans and the Cowboy.
The crossroads from the expansion of our frontier with the lives of the Native Americans and the Cowboy depleted the resources vital for the longevity of these cultures. What remains has become the core of the American psyche, still fueling dreams of freedom and adventure. This is the foundation that has enveloped my passion for creating artwork, forming the roots that characterize my artwork. My hope is to convey my passion for understanding and appreciating the complex events that define the West. The artifacts, animals and stories behind each painting portray those stories in great detail. Ultimately, I hope my artwork ignites an appreciation for the events and people that defined the West.