Being a painter, musician and author, sight, sound and words are the tools of my expression. I began painting at age five and at age seven I began studying music. The very discipline of formal training has always appealed to me and I have dedicated my life to the in-depth study of them. I studied music and art at Boston University, Mannes College of Music, the Juilliard School (Doctorate), and art at the Boston Museum School, Kent State, the Academy of Realist Art, the Seattle Academy of Art as well as privately with respected teachers. After all that I still feel I am self-taught.
My breakthrough moment in art was when it was revealed to me that music and art were made up of the same ideas. Conceptual juxtaposition has always been my gift. (I try to balance my left and right brain, yet the right side seems to always win!). Rhythm, harmony, counterpoint, balance, contrast, scales, chromatism, keys, high and low, dark and bright, loud and soft, colorful and dull, jumbled in my minds eye - all the polarities in the arts and indeed in life itself! I have the ability to think of a scene or object and project it on my minds screen and then draw and paint from it.
Major influences have come from the Netherlands artists between 1550 and 1720. Their clarity of image and beauty have inspired me my whole life, in particular, Kalf, De Heem, Heda and Claesz. My early works were Dali inspired and taught me that creativity is that place inside that ideas mingle, collide, and create new ones. The past meets the future on the inner screen between the eyes where reality and fantasy collide. Daniel Sprick, Scott Fraser, Scott Prior, Denise Michilowski, Andrew Kusmin and Tom Ouellette have made contemporary realism a jumping off point for my work.
I usually enjoy the darkest of backgrounds in my still life paintings as it affords the eye the most comfortable place to perceive reality at its beginning. The great Netherlands artist of the 16th century knew this, and many of the most beautiful images are set against a blackish backdrop. This perception enforces my belief that nothing exists until light is draped over it. From the nothingness of black we build up to the perceived objects. As in love, we create the feeling the other inspires in us. As in art, we create the feeling to inspire the others in us. In other words, we must think of the consequences of our actions and what results each brushstroke communicates.
Recently I fell in love with landscape painting. I don’t know if being out in the elements surrounded by God, the slight tweaking of composition that is already set up for me, or how free I can be with my palette of colors that inspired me. My concept seems to be a combination of the lush Hudson River School and the compositional elements of the California Impressionists. I don’t censor what emerges from my brush as much as I do with my still life and with that I find great freedom.
My professional life includes teaching art to private students and music at the Boston Conservatory of Music. I also own and operate the business FENWAY GRAYS, which provides fine oil paints made from cold pressed linseed oil and pure powdered pigments. I have written music, published a book, The Audition Process: Anxiety Management and Coping Strategies, and recently produced a solo CD of myself performing music I have written based on four of my paintings, called Oboe Colors.
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