Influences

Indian Miniatures; Rajput and Mughal painting, Balinese / Javanese Kamasan painting, Buddhist Thangka paintings, Naive Art, Jacob Lawrence, Tex Avery, Don Martin…so many more.

In Hindu tradition, devotees understand divine beings permeate the universe, fly about, and, inhabit inanimate objects. To bring good fortune into their home, the faithful providing beautiful objects in which travel weary spirits by might rest. To charm divine apparitions into their palaces, royal courts of Rajput and Mughals dynasties (16th through 19th centuries) commissioned artisans to create small (thus the term “miniature”) sacred paintings. Beautiful and exquisitely rendered in rich jewel-like tones, quaint delicate palaces, lush gardens, orchards, and welcoming maidens indulge celestial beings with sanctuary, nourishment and pleasure. In return, satisfied and satiated spirits bestow blessings upon court and kingdom.

Kamasan paitings are extraordinary and notable for their stylized rendering of fantastical figures and ornamentation within two-dimensional space. Traditionally considered to be Javanese and Balinese, these worrks can be traced back to 10th-century India.

Kamasan painting

Thangkas (pronounced tuhng-kahs) are, in Buddhist tradition, paintings utilized in teaching and meditation. They follow a prescribed set of rules. And feature strict composition. The figures portrayed are considered to radiate positive energy and are intended to serve as a guide for contemplative experience. Many depict lone “wrathful” Buddhas—alternative manifestations of a normally peaceful bodhisattva. Their terrifying appearance helps to overpower delusion, negativity and ignorance. By seeing and concentrating on these figures, the practitioner strives for liberation and enlightenment.

While traditional Tangkas adhere to predetermined rules, my work does not. Sometimes my work is about escaping all those rules.

Naïve art appeals to the emotions. Naïve artists—a catchall term for folk, primitive, mentally challenged, and child artists—traditionally ignore or are unaware  of Western society’s ideal beauty – two- or three-point perspective. Their less-than-realistic rendering often proves more profound and satisfying than classic realism.

Jacob Lawrence African-American artist known for his portrayal of African-American life. At first his “dynamic cubist,” style appears crude, uneducated. However; upon investigation, one realizes this is intentional.

Jacob Lawrence painting Runners

Tex Avery  American animator and cartoonist.

Tex Avery cartoon

Don Martin American cartoonist. Creator of wacky, slap-stick comics and comix.

Don Martin comic

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