I believe that as we are products of our experiences as well as our own choices, in order to best understand the intentions of my work, it is important to consider my background and certain pivotal events in my life which helped determine my ultimate path. I was born into a large family in Salt Lake City who practiced a fundamental American religion. My questioning nature never allowed me to believe in the dictates of their faith. I sought a verifiable understanding of the nature of our existence as well as a transcendent knowing, dependent neither on an intermediary nor strictly structured dogma.
Professionally, I began working as a decorative artist at a young age, discovering the beauty inherent in the natural process of decay while working on conservation projects of cathedrals and state capitols. I came to appreciate the history recorded in the layers of various decorative campaigns which had preceded my time. When preforming exposures of past decorative stencil patterns or trompe l'oiel ornament, I imagined the people who had produced them; their hands painting ornament so long ago on the wall now under my scrutiny. Though they were long since gone, traces of their being had been left behind in the space they had once occupied.
Some years later, while in the process of performing renovation on my century old home, I became enamoured by the physical traces I discovered of the many souls who had previously made the house a home. Beautifully patterned and preserved matchbooks from the roaring 1920's which I found under layers of flooring, faded paper with elegant handwriting dated April 11, 1912 which had been lodged behind a baseboard, old photographs of soldiers who had sent snapshots home during war, which had been preserved between layers of wall covering... all of these placeholders of moments from a recent past fueled my imagination and sparked my creative inquiry. I strove to understand context, on levels both individual and universal.
In 2007, after working in the decorative arts for 18 years, I fell from a scaffold while painting trompe l'oiel ornament on a state capitol and shattered my C5 vertebra. While waiting on a stretcher for an MRI examination, I was struck by the epiphany that the time had finally come to unquestioningly follow the muse who had always beckoned. My neck was subsequently fused at two places, and during my recovery, I gained full custody of my son, my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, and I returned to art school after an 18 year hiatus. I have now embraced the role of urban archaeologist, researching the recent past through traces left by others who had earlier crossed the same path.