Artist Statement

I enjoy painting motion.  Horses and other wildlife are a graceful subject for motion, so I paint horses and wildlife.  These subjects come easy for me as I have spent a great deal of my life around horses and other animals.

I paint for people.   Art is communication.  The viewer must understand what I try to communicate and be able to contribute to the artwork himself; otherwise, it is not a work of art.  I am genuinely thrilled that so many people have understood my art and feel the same way I do about wild animals.

I started painting with watercolors because the nature of the paint contributes to the subjects I am painting.  The essence of watercolor is water.  Water flows.  Letting it flow contributes to the motion of the painting.  I try to pick transparent colors and use them as transparent colors in layers to increase brightness of the paintings.  Often I let the background show through the subject being painted as if it is painted on stone or a cave wall.  Rock art and cave paintings are one source of inspiration for me, as well as oriental art executed quickly and precisely.  Sometimes I saw it took me twenty minutes and forty years to execute a painting – forty years of practice to be able to execute it in twenty minutes.  One has to paint quickly with watercolors or lose the flowy nature of the paint, because it dries fast.  On the other hand, some of my paintings take hundreds of hours to fill in details.   The viewer does not see the forty years of practice paintings.  I use a myriad of watercolor techniques on various papers.  I use Arches watercolor paper, as well as 5 different kinds of oriental rice papers.  I paint using dry brush, wet on wet, a mouth atomizer, my fingers.  But the basic technique is watercolor on paper.

My paintings become mixed media, because I sometimes use gel pens, gold leaf, and fancy papers to enhance my paintings.  I have developed a method of waterproofing some of my paintings to be able to hang them without frames.  I use leather, beads, and feathers to put a finishing touch on my southwestern style.  I have recently incorporated wood, acrylic paint used in a watercolor style, cloth, twine and cardboard in some of my paintings – they have evolved into collage. A number of customers have asked me, “What tribe are you?”  and I can truthfully answer Cherokee, as I am part Cherokee – as well as clan O’Sullivan, County Kerry, Ireland.  Sometimes in my paintings amid the beads and feathers , you will see the influence of the Celtic  goddess of horses, Ebona.