I began my first major body of figurative work upon graduation from UC San Diego in 2005. This collection of large oil paintings was inspired by my travels, friends and family, and the roles modern technology can play in contemporary photorealism. I was first introduced to the use of the digital projector as a drawing aid by my professor Amy Adler and later pursued David Hockney's book "Secret Knowledge" which posed the controversial theory that many old masters used optical aids to create their realistic perspectives and proportions. Hollywood more recently explored the same theory in the film Tim's Vermeer to a painstaking degree to prove its effectiveness. The digital projection process is often criticized as "cheating" because the artist can project an image onto the canvas, trace the outlines of the composition to exact proportion and then "simply" color in between the lines. As a young artist, I used the digital projector as a technical opportunity to bifurcate the complexities of painting: I could focus solely on mastering the color glazing I was introduced to in Paris and avoid the frustrations of achieving an accurate drawing. Using a projector also enabled me to work largescale in my small studio where otherwise I would have needed to step back quite a distance to check accuracy.
After painting in this manner for several years, I realized I was stuck in a rut. I knew I had become too dependent upon the digital projector when my drawing skills failed to progress and I had yet to express my love for impressionism and energetic brushwork (which were at odds with the polished photorealism I was achieving through the projection process). I knew my stagnation was due in part to working exclusively from photos but also recognized that isolation ( I had been working on my own with no involvement in the contemporary art world) was taking its toll. Thus began my commitment to spend the next several years working exclusively from life and to become active in the Sacramento arts scene. I started attending open studio figure drawing sessions and found artist Earl Boley to paint with on a weekly basis. In 2010 I enrolled in a summer workshop at the Florence Academy of Art to further my experience of painting a live figure in oil and spent the remainder of my time in Sacramento working with the Mahony Group and Debbie Gualco at Capital ArtWorks.