For me, painting is a way to externalize how all of my different influences color the way that I see the world that I live in.
I am mostly inspired by my immediate surroundings, both inside of my apartment and the surrounding neighborhood. I know these places, and it is important to me to paint about something that I feel I know about, or have had an important experience with. I also look to places outside of Chicago that I have loved and found important. Often, I look to the area surrounding my hometown in Western Pennsylvania, a place that I feel has been extremely influential to my painting in all aspects from subject matter to color palette. Through these places I see something personally compelling, but I also see in them reflections of traditional American culture. I find the reflections of folk stories, music and painting in what I see around me. I want to express that connection through my work without being beholden to it. I feel as though I am a part of these traditions, an extension of them.