I honestly find the artist's statement to be an almost impossible feat.
I am a visual artist, so, by my estimation, my entire job is to
communicate without words; yet, here I sit trying to put words to my
images, an exercise I am poorly prepared to undertake.
Inspiration, for me, is just my accumulated experiences, things I've
seen, heard, touched and felt through my life, jumbled about in my mind
and abused by time until they show up on a piece of paper. I would love
to point to a sketchbook of ordered images that would tell this story,
but, as often as not, the images are spit out on scraps of envelopes
near a computer or a convenient napkin ringed with coffee.
Growing up in East Tennessee, I spent a great deal of my childhood
wandering through the Smokies, especially the Chimneys Picnic Grounds on
the Little Pigeon River. I passed many hours of many summers scrambling
over rocks in the middle of streams and exploring caves and trails.
The Smoky Mountains and the Little Pigeon River are the internal background to
almost all of my work. No matter what the central element of a piece
may be, the natural flora and fauna of the Smokies creeps in, whether in
the obvious form of a Smoky Mountain songbird or salamander, or in the
less obvious form of rhododendron leaves and lichen-covered boulders.