Journal Series

Statement about this Series

About six years ago, I was visiting The Met with my wife and kids. I was on the cusp of turning 40, and the dichotomy of hope and angst filled my mind. I would see the wonder in my little ones’ eyes, and I was moved by the power of art to highlight and simplify the complex emotions of life.


We entered the Arms and Armor area of the museum, and I took a ton of photos of all of the intricate, decorative designs on the armor. These were weapons of war and defense that also embraced pageantry and beauty. These were historical objects that begged a story. I started taking more pictures of the various stories being told throughout The Met, and pictures of my family and our shared history and memories.


I then started this series of paintings, Journaling. Since that moment, I have had several works-in-progress that I’ve treated as running emotional journals. I reflect on my failures (alcoholism, eviction, failing out of school) and my successes (sobriety, loving family, successful career), my joy and my angst, and then I paint and draw, often for hours at a time. I then put the piece to the side until I am compelled to reflect on whatever theme I started to explore in the particular piece. 


These pieces would balance my other, more performative pieces that focused on immediacy.


Namely, I have certain drawings and watercolors that I strive to finish in one sitting. I then have larger canvases that I visit on occasion to work out a moment or emotion in my life (the heaviness of depression, the fear of gun violence, the anger about the cruelty of ignorance, the joy of my kids’ successes, the comfort of having true love, the healing quality of laughter). The results are complicated and intriguing paintings that compel the viewer to engage.


I use several layers of acrylic paintings, including painting out entire narrative scenes that will only be obscured by future paintings. I then use acrylic markers to add illustrations and decorative elements informed by the decorations on the armor from the 16th and 17th Centuries I viewed at The Met, but I use these decorative elements to create illustrations that beg a story. 


 I am intrigued at mirroring the idea of beautiful protective armor over