To me, painting is a form of language, but it is unique in that a single image can be used to convey a complex, sophisticated thought or mood. It is the ultimate "economy of means." What keeps me engaged in the process is the tremendous challenge any painter encounters each time he or she conceives an idea and then attempts to give it life on the canvas--all the while, trying to make sure that the original idea holds, consistently.
Most of my work is figurative, with a narrative quality. I often use friends and family members as models--this is a venerable tradition dating back to the great renaissance painters. When I have a figure in front of me that I know very well, it leaves me free to focus on the story--what the painting is about.
As a self-taught painter, I am always learning, always investigating ways to move forward. I find that maintaining a strong work-ethic not only keeps me on my toes, technically, but it also helps me stay out of the "inspiration" trap--the idea that one can only paint in the throes of "inspiration." While we all love to be inspired, the fact is that painting is mainly hard work.