As a Queer Appalachian...
The paintings I make tend to obsess over ideas of home, home lost, anxiety, and most importantly identity. Creating my own visual language, reflecting totemic imagery common to Appalachia and tied to Queer iconography. Guns, drag queens, baptisms, black bears, coal miners, strong women, are the varied themes you will find in these works. While they are open to individual interpretation, these are narratives intended to question and celebrate many colloquial norms, identity, and sense of home.
Painting With Coal Dust
Henri Matisse once said "I've been forty years discovering that the queen of all colors is black" For me, these dark coal laden marks are a love letter to mark making. Adding coal to the work functions like a bit of alchemy, it is quite literally the earth from my home. I use the coal dust as pigment to make black textured paint, and to mute other colors. The finely ground coal is collected from a WV processing plant, and then mixed with clear acrylic medium - resulting in my own unique brand of paint. The style I paint in is 'alla prima' - although rarely in oils, I use wet paint on top of wet and am more interested in expressive brush strokes than photographic accuracy.