My passion, my life.
Faces of Courage Series: Artist Statement
My series, Faces of Courage, are realistic oil paintings dealing with the topic of poverty and are portraits of individuals who attended the Hope Center, Walking Tall, and the Anchor Church in Wilmington, NC. These paintings are an attempt to represent those in poverty with a sense of dignity and beauty.
My mother and grandparents grew up in the Irish Ghettos of Boston. They worked odd jobs just trying to keep food on the table and so the kids often watched themselves. At one point the children were playing with my grandfather’s matches and the apartment caught on fire. Social services got involved and all the children ended up tossed around the foster care system. Later on my mother was adopted, but she never forgot where she came from, and has always had a generous heart for the poor, which has greatly influenced my life and my art. My series, Faces of Courage, are realistic oil paintings of portraits dealing with this topic of poverty and individuals who attend the support groups in Wilmington, NC.
I had been working with The Hope Center since January 2016. My process involved talking about my story and why I was there, and then those who attended the Hope Center often shared their stories with me. Next I asked if they might be interested in modeling, and what I paid per hour. Then I took a series of photos while explaining my process to the models of looking for good light and shadow, and even involved them in looking at the photos with me. I continued with value sketches often combining more than one photo to get the best composition. Most of my color palette was limited to create a sense of continuity throughout the work. My canvases were medium to large, which works well with portraits and figures.
Post Graduate School
After graduate school I had continued for a period of time volunteering with Walking Tall of Wilmington, The Hope Center- which became Hope Recuperative Care, Vigalent Hope that works with Port City Community, and currently Eden Village. Eden Village is a community whose mission is to help the chronically homeless have a permanent roof over their heads in a tiny home within a community that has health care, community center, and gardening. I am very happy to have started my new venture with them, while including Cape Fear Community College where I instruct fine arts and graphic design courses. We are currently hosting a fundraiser at the Wilma Daniels Gallery with a silent auction where 100% of the proceeds of 18 paintings will be going to EV and a show where part of the proceeds goes to EV. I am honored to help partner with EV and CFCC and to have helped coordinate our departments to create cross curricular activites through nursing, dental, OT, EWD, and Phi Theta Kappa students and the community of Eden Village
it is my intent to represent those in my paintings regardless of any status with a sense of dignity and beauty. Poverty does not always represent doom and gloom, as I have learned from my volunteering and my mother’s love for the those in need. There are many that make a difference in the lives of others daily. I hope my series truthfully conveys the personality of those that I painted, as well as the time we have shared together.