To paint the world around me, I draw on my early background in journalism. As a junior reporter in the 1980s, I was influenced by the investigative reporting and New Journalism of the ‘70s. I learned that a straight news story often has an even bigger story behind it, and that depends on who’s telling it. Although it has been many years since I worked as a writer, I bring that same sensibility to my artwork.
My "Small Town in Texas" paintings tell stories about ordinary people, everyday activities, and changing communities. In this series, I explore Killeen, a small city adjoining the Army post of Fort Hood in Central Texas. Having grown up there, I think I may always feel the shock I experienced on a September afternoon in 1991. I saw on the news that a mass shooting was happening in my hometown at the Luby’s Cafeteria . Since then, the community has experienced two more mass shootings on Fort Hood. To understand what could lead to these events, I began creating images of everyday life in Killeen today. As a collection, a story may emerge. Individually, each painting depicts a simple scene of Americana.
My artistic process begins by immersing myself in direct observation. I travel wherever I must to gather impressions and photos of my subjects. I soak up the surroundings and research my curious observations. The slow practice of oil painting gives me time to discover details that enrich my story. The moderate size of my paintings (average 2’ x 3') allows the viewer to take in these details.