STILL  |   2004  |   oil on canvas, 24" x 20"
2004 |
oil on canvas, 24″ x 20″

Enid was the first dog I’ve ever lost.

She was my Boston Terrier, the matriarch: a little General, my love, and my first model. When we had to say goodbye to her (after a great but much, much too short life, age 14) I couldn’t bear to look at her photographs. The pain was too sharp, and would make me catch my breath or dissolve. But her art I was drawn to. I found solace and comfortable release in the more abstract feel of her, and I could recount the little bits that comprised what made her whole: her thick neck, the arch of her back, the exact color brown in her eyes, and her crooked teeth. Her artistic essence was my salvation.

OLIVER    |   2014    |   oil on canvas, 12' x 12'
2014 |
oil on canvas, 12′ x 12′

Since then, it’s been my great honor to be called upon to create remembrance portraits for others. I try very hard to understand what made the subject truly them, and endeavor to include tiny sips of their life into their portrait. I hope that I’m successful.

If I could ease someone’s grief  the slightest bit, then I’d be happy. If I could paint a safe harbor to grieve more comfortably, and if — eventually — that space could give way to a sigh or even a slight smile of remembrance, then I could ask for nothing more. Art is very powerful, but I think in no way moreso than to relieve suffering. I will always be thankful for the opportunity to act as emissary to the grieving, and attempt to build a bridge between worlds.