The constant theme throughout my art is my love affair with the human (or humanoid if you will) face and form – it’s emotion – it’s beauty – and what information a subtle play of expression can offer about the history and personality of the subject. While my art always seems to tell a story – it’s not a tale I am always privy too. Beings and imagery play in my mind and whisper their demands to me as I paint. This results in mysterious images rich with untold secrets. The most common comment I receive is that the image seems to tell a story – or that the viewer would “like to read that book” I invite you to do so! I firmly believe that the stories my pieces tell exist in the minds of the viewer – their tales cannot be known without your imagination. It’s not my job to tell the tale to you….it’s up to you to suss it out. This collaboration between artist and audience is what I cherish most. The name of my website – “winged things & improbable machines” reflects without constraining the themes of my work. I am constantly intrigued by winged things of all kinds – be they fairies, insects, ships elusive spirits or handcrafted flying devices. Additionally I would say I am a shy inventor and closet engineer! I love designing jointed limbs and mechanisms – but I care not if the machine or automaton would really “function” in real life. Hence my machines can definitely be termed improbable.
Over the years I have worked in many mediums – my favorites being Egg Tempera, Graphite, Silverpoint – and most recently the medium of Light (digital painting). My influences are broad ranging – Obviously I am greatly influenced by the Steampunk and Clockpunk esthetics. But beyond that I am inspired by the myriad of engineers in my family (my Granddad was Nautical Engineer Peter Payne – you might have seen some of his boats in the Bond films!) – fairytales and World mythology also inspire me. I am most inspired by the act of storytelling itself and this is reflected heavily in my work. Some of my favorite artists are Hans Holbein the Younger, Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Leonardo, Gil Elvgren, Travis Charest and the work of all my artist friends! My favorite authors include Neil Gaiman, Neal Stephenson, Susannah Clarke, Robert Heinlein, Terry Pratchett, Nora Roberts and Jane Austen. Musically I cut my teeth on 70’s punk and 80’s new wave. But I love music of all kinds…and my current obsessions change frequently. My art has been featured in a few books, and licensed for a variety of products such as stickers, t-shirts, coffee mugs, jewelry, statues, cross-stitch and of course prints.