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Birds and animals have always fascinated me, and are often the focus of my paintings. My approach varies, at times beginning with inspiration from a photo I’ve taken at a zoo, museum or my backyard. Other times I begin with a sketch or computer mockup. Either way, the subject is rendered in a realistic manner, with other elements introduced that either work to contradict the realism or blur the boundaries between the two.

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What interests me is creating a push and pull between a traditional, realistic painting style and a more modern approach that incorporates flat elements, such as decorative motifs, text, or patterns. I’m intrigued how these two seemingly opposite aesthetics work together to form a whole, like the idea of Yin and Yang, where contradictions both contrast and complement each other.

Frequently, my process is also one of contradictions. Working with a variety of different techniques, from more traditional painting processes using oils, to more modern techniques such as collage and image transfer, I’m captivated by the synergy of a realistically rendered subject with a pattern or 2D element. This combination of contrasting styles and techniques challenges the viewer’s ideas of illusion created through realistic techniques and the reality of the flat surface.

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