Sometimes we get to where we are going in roundabout ways. I always wanted to be an artist of some sort, but art school after high school was too big of a leap. Instead, I studied Norwegian language and literature at Camrose Lutheran College, now the Augustana Campus of the University of Alberta. At the time I got sidetracked with the sport of Biathlon, which I pursued while I studied and beyond. A decade on the Canadian National Biathlon team and participation in two Winter Olympics (1992 and 1994) gave me the confidence to pursue the 'real' dream of being an artist. In 1998 I completed a Fine Arts Degree at the University of Alberta, then moved north to settle in the Yukon Territory. I have found that both the outdoor activities I enjoy here and other journeys further afield take me into the environments that inspire my work.
My art practice is inspired by nature. Whether it is landscape or abstract painting, it is a search for symbol and meaning within the workings of nature that leads me to the act of observation and of painting. Although I am attracted to and paint scenes of natural beauty, nature and the landscape are more than just scenery. All knowledge and discovery starts with observation from nature; all resources are derived from nature - it provides, reveals, inspires and gives us an opportunity to discover and understand our place in the world in a very fundamental way. As geological histories are indicated by rock formations, animal histories by tracks and fossils, cultural histories by artifacts, the landscape includes these elements and more to reflect a philosophy of sorts – one that simultaneously suggests chaos and mystery as well as order and interconnection. Forms and patterns emerge and break down, reflecting the basic creative / destructive cycle of the natural world. I try to indirectly incorporate these ideas into my presentation of the landscape by seeking out those patterns and finding forms in the shadows.
My artistic influences are many, I love the art of Cézanne and the French artists of 'Les Nabis', American abstract painters Rothko, Diebenkorn and Frankenthaler, but perhaps not surprisingly, Canadian painters make the biggest impression, Emily Carr, the Group of Seven, David Milne, Takao Tanabe, Alex Janvier to name a few. But if I had to pick just one artist whose influence has been particularly strong and personal, and whose fundamental approach to painting really resonated with me, it would be John Koerner. He was a Canadian (British Columbia) painter of landscapes and still lifes with a deep spiritual / philosophical grounding - we managed to meet and correspond for a short time before he passed away at 100 years old in 2014. Of course it is difficult to delineate real influences over admiration… but there is no doubt that everything we see stays with us in some way.
Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, with distinction, University of Alberta, Edmonton AB 1998.
Bachelor of Arts degree, with distinction, Augustana University, Camrose AB, 1988.
See the Paintings
View my Portfolio to see new and previous work. Interested in buying a painting? Please see what is available for purchase. I look forward to hearing from you.