How this Began
100 Shores Background
If you're reading this, then you probably already know that the Chesapeake is one of the world's largest estuaries, our nation's largest watershed, and a critically important habitat. It's home to over 300 species of fish, plus 100's of different species of birds and waterfowl. And a lot of people. It represents all of these things and more, but it's really nothing without the water.
I started thinking about this project towards the end of 2021. 2021 took my work into a lot of new and exciting directions, which was rewarding in many ways. As my work has continued to flourish over the past few years, I've spent an increasing amount of time digging into deeper questions about my work. Not just what my work represents, but what does my work stand for? From these questions, I went back to the roots of my own experiences with the water, and especially back to my early opportunities to look at and study the water itself.
These memories always seem to connect back to Chesapeake field studies and summer camps over 30 years ago, and specifically to the experience of conducting water quality tests on samples from around my area. I've been using Chesapeake water samples in my work for a few years now, and I think there's a little bit of muscle memory that still stirs those memories when I reach down to take a water sample today.
Most of my work is a contemporary interpretation of wildlife from the mid-Atlantic and Chesapeake Bay region. I think of the majority of my paintings as traditional wildlife illustration- fish, sea life, waterfowl, birds and the landscapes they inhabit, but with a modern and unique vibe.
While an artist and art educator by trade, I originally went to school to study biology and marine science. Since a young age, I have had a deep interest in water quality and aquatic life, especially in and around the Chesapeake region where I grew up. Now as an artist, I am very interested in exploring our relationship to the water- and to nature as a whole- from different perspectives.
This includes connections based on emotion or memories, but also wider connections based on conservation or ecology. I’ve also become fascinated with the idea of using the water itself as part of the content of an artwork conceptually. As an avid outdoorsmen, I began collecting small samples of water in water bottles when I would be out on the river. I bring those water samples back to use in mixing dyes that I then use to render my images.