This summer, I spent a month in Paris working on new projects and sharpening my vision. I explored the ancient city with its heavy ornamentation, gathering inspiration and strength for what I do best. Each day I would open the old windows overlooking a puzzle of zinc rooftops. Neighborhood churches and grand cathedrals were seemingly behind every corner and the top of every hill. Despite my personal lack of religious feeling, these places struck me as dazzling, glittering, golden works of inspiration and passion.

Where I grew up in rural Missouri, often the only art works in my family’s homes were Jesus and the Sacred Heart or the Holy Family. These objects always fascinated me. They were so often made with rich colors, deep blue and intense red, gold, silver and jewels. This early influence remains visible in my work. With pigment and metals, I transform wood panels into works of art. I create a holy object from a mundane one. Each painting is a reminder of the possibility of beauty in the world. The most important thing for me as an artist is to share that possibility.

While I enjoy making portraits, figure paintings, and many kinds of wildlife, owls are a subject that I return to again and again. They are keen observers, and represent the heart of my work. They stand for wisdom, judgment and understanding the world. Beyond that they are intensely beautiful, their eyes following you around the room. I hope you find the beauty in them as well, and bring your own meaning to the work. I love hearing the stories and memories that come from my viewers.

When I was young, I dreamed of a life that had beauty and had joy. I have painted myself into a new one, filled with richness, color and strength. These works are concrete reminders of my vocation and of the fact that I can change my reality. There is always the possibility that something new will happen. These remind me that where I am is not where I will be. Dream is destiny. The future is yours to create.