I was born in the High Sierras on the wrong side of a border town. I learned to swim in alpine waters nestled against the backdrop of a casino-resort. When it snowed, I played outside in my bathing suit and boots. My family eventually moved east to the Smoky Mountains; Mom would joke that it saved me from a life of degenerate gambling, which my child-brain liked to indulge in imagining. When my sisters became Olympic hopefuls, we migrated to the Sonoran Desert in pursuit of glory. Their farewell-party cake looked like a giant gold medal, “DARE TO DREAM" emblazoned in red and blue frosting.
Later, I studied Art in a colonial town amidst the haunted coastal marshes of Georgia. After graduating with my BFA, I made a living painting for other people. In the Pacific Northwest, I spent a whole year painting feathers and foliage for a film about talking birds. Then I re-created environments plucked from Andrew Wyeth paintings. I rendered autumnal grasses and weathered barns for months and months. Neither of those films got made. When I moved to the Bay Area, purported land of innovation, I got a job working on a Facebook game painting anthropomorphized animals in medieval clothing. That ended up being a real low point. After that, I collaborated on a permanent installation for the Sacramento Airport. I made digital paintings inspired by the Northern California landscape that animated on screens mounted to the outside of a 3-story elevator shaft. Then I got hired to work on a stop-motion film. For two years I painted New York City skylines, seedy downtown theaters, and fictional street scenes set in the 1980’s. Patton Oswalt stopped by one day and told me he liked my work—what a sincerely nice guy. But that film never got made, either. I was pretty deflated after that and considered becoming a furniture maker for about 3 months.
But I just keep painting.