My paintings are the of a queer Appalachian
 

I grew up in a holler in Southern West Virginia. I was fortunate enough to have my artwork recognized by a retired lawyer by the name of Stanley Hostler and his art loving wife Virginia and they paved the way for me to begin my journey studying art at West Virginia University.  There I began a career in digital media. I focused my studies in graphic design, multimedia, web design and videography. 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.