Answers to Commonly Asked Questions
What is your medium?
I make both digital and "analog" (traditional) paintings. My digital work is hand-painted using an Apple Pencil and an iPad Pro. All of the giclée prints you see here were created in this way. My traditional paintings are done in gouache, or gouache and mixed media, typically on birch panels or paper. I do not make reproductions of my traditional paintings; they remain one of a kind.
Can I get a print of that painting you posted on Instagram?
I only make giclée prints of my digital media (iPad & Apple Pencil) paintings; not of my traditional media paintings. This way my clients who purchase a traditional painting receive a work which is truly one of a kind. Many giclée prints are available in the shop, and I'm always adding new designs. If you're interested in a unique traditional painting, please get in touch with me via my commission quote request form.
Can I get your art tattooed, or use it as inspiration for a tattoo?
Thank you for the compliment! Respectfully, please do not do this. Some of my pieces were created as tattoos for other people; I view tattooing as a sacred art which relates to people's individual bodies and life stories. It is therefore inappropriate to take symbolism created specifically for another person. This being said, I am always available for tattoo design commissions to create a work of art specific to you and your personal needs.
What is "bioregional art?"
I create art with the intention of engaging deeply with my local environment. I focus on expressions which are centered around the native animals and plants: they are the people who were here first, they are adapted specifically to this landscape, and as such they provide the foundations for human society and culture. I believe that if we wish to have a healthy culture then we must root ourselves to the land with which we live. This means learning deeply about the lives of our relative-neighbors, our ancestors, the native plants and animals. My art is an expression of both my sense of visual design and my process of learning more about the species with whom I share this segment of Earth.
Are you inspired by Native American art?
My work is inspired and informed by ancient arts (the "primitive," meaning "first," "primary," or "original" arts) from all over the world. I believe there is a way of seeing the world which is land-connected, land-centered, and universal to all human cultures in their indigenous or pre-colonial state of being. Through my work I try to access this land-based way of seeing the world; I believe to do so is cultural healing work. Unfortunately we now live in a colonial world, with grievous global impacts caused by the land-disconnected cultures of Europe. I try to navigate this as respectfully as possible. While I have a great admiration for all of the land-based indigenous cultures of Earth, it is important to me that my work does not include any cultural appropriation. The stories I am trying to tell through my visions are my own stories of personal connection to the Pacific coast of North America and other landscapes I have lived among or visited. The symbology I use in my work is my own symbology which I have personally developed in response to my observations of nature.
What are your other artistic influences?
I studied oil painting and figure drawing at the University of California Santa Cruz. My emphasis was in abstract expressionism and other modernist styles. The early work of Jackson Pollock, the work of Pablo Picasso, and many others play a key role in my visual language. As I became fascinated with ancient arts, I studied Chinese Calligraphy and the origins of written language in mysticism and magic. Traditional Japanese design principles became important to me during this time. A current and ongoing influence on my art is the work of many great scientific illustrators and naturalists, such as John James Audubon. I am also fascinated with the ways in which science uses symbolic languages to communicate technical meaning in diagrams and charts. Science is very important to my work, and I try to weave a scientific worldview hand in hand with an ancient, mythological-metaphorical way of seeing the world.
Tell me about the runes in your work.
Some may notice that a few of my paintings include runes, which are the original glyphic language of the Nordic cultures of Europe. These runes are a nod to my own ethnic roots in tribal European indigeneity, but they are also a cultural commentary. Many Nordic rune stones are inscriptions describing acts of valor or battle. The rune stone inscriptions I write are not descriptions of valorous deeds, but rather a critical commentary on the colonial settler culture which Europeans brought to "North America" and many other parts of the Earth. I believe that, as a settler society, in order to have a sane and healthy future we must work to reconcile our relationship with the land and the Indigenous peoples who have kept right relationship with their land for millennia. I believe this responsibility includes returning stewardship of all land on Earth to all First Peoples.